Yesterday, I discussed that our ministry partners want to hear from us and suggested how to get started. Today, I will post ways you can stay in touch and hope our readers have more to share, too. I will actually keep some of this sketchy if I feel I could write a post about it later. When I do publish more material, I will add the links here.
Establish your own system and goals. I have “tweaked” our system over the years, but here’s what I do now:
TntMPD ideas for keeping in contact
(I recommend using TntMPD to manage what you are doing for people. I really could not effectively do most of what I will list below without the functions of TntMPD.)
I keep current with the thank you note tasks generated by TntMPD. (Future post)
We try to write varied prayer letters in a personal tone every six weeks. Midway between prayer letters, we send an eNewsletter. (I will have more content on e4e about sending email newsletters. For now, see this post.)
All donors receive a family-designed Christmas card (this is very popular – see above example of Simeon). The kids have made our cards every year and are still doing it as young adults. Christmas is the one time I do not send a prayer letter to most non-donors, just to make December a little easier, by sending the cards only to donors, family, and close friends. If there’s an interest, I could write a post on making Christmas cards.
I have different categories of which donors receive anniversary and other holiday cards. See Related Posts below for details on sending cards and more. I enclose a photo or stationery I made with our photo on it.
All donors of $25/month and above receive a Worldwide Challenge magazine gift subscription from us.
All donors receive gifts from us when they reach certain milestones, such as, donating to a certain level or after every five years of partnership. I keep track of the different gifts I send to people in TntMPD so I don’t repeat gifts. (Ideas: hand-made magnet, candle, flowers, stationery, book, calendar, Jesus DVDs, Discover God Study Bible, registering them for a Weekend to Remember, etc.)
We use TntMPD to keep track of fund appeals in such a way that we are sensitive to our donors’ interests and preferences. (future post)
TntMPD helps me keep track of how long it has been between appointments. I try to plan for different MPD trips every year. I will post in the future about how I use technology to plan and execute a trip.
I know what interests and hobbies our donors have, so I will occasionally send along some information when I come across different opportunities.
Other ideas about keeping in contact.
We have done some things with our donors to build our relationship with them:
- Stayed overnight in their home
- Taken them out for dinner
- Did some sight-seeing together
- Taken them on a “JESUS” film tour
- Attended a concert or Day of Prayer rally together
- Went to Andre Kolé or some other Campus Crusade event together
Blogging has been a great way to communicate with donors. I will develop ideas about blogs and websites further in future posts.
I also send a link to a shared reader once a month. (Again, I promise to post about shared readers. These also relate to blogging, but you don’t have to be a blogger to use this effectively.)
We need to hear about your ideas
- Mike and I would like to have phone conversations regularly with donors. Phoning, and appointments, are very important for building relationships, as you know. I’ll admit to a weakness here in not doing as many phone calls as I would like. I’d like to know how others even get through to people. With caller ID and answering machines, we have trouble getting through when we actually do sit down to phone. I know how long it’s been since I have phoned a donor and know what we talked about through TntMPD’s “History”.
- I would love a “guest post” from someone who has used Skype or some other means of keeping in touch from an overseas assignment.
- I have MPD friends on Facebook. I’ve been able to learn more about their personal lives. I have tried a Group Page for a “prayer team” and know of other staff who have tried this. Has Facebook been effective for keeping in touch with your donors? (Future post).
- Another weak area for me is keeping up with prayer requests. Any suggestions would be most welcomed. I’ve set up systems, but not followed them consistently.
- I’m also hoping to improve on replying to snail mail and email from our donors. I actually do a lot of this, but would like to have a system so I can keep up better.
Again, thank you, Brenda, for asking! And PLEASE don’t be overwhelmed! I believe God led me to explore and experiment with all these many options so I can let others know about them. Just pick what works for you. I certainly would not expect anyone else to be doing all these things.
Click here for Part One to return to a thorough three-part series on how I send cards to our donors. (This is part of Brenda’s question.)
Getting Personal is about sending a “questionnaire” via snail mail to your ministry partners to try to learn more about them and to gather anniversary dates and other personal information.
NOTE: Visit the Correspondence Series for help on organizing your greeting cards and more.