Fundraising Training Series - Donor Communication, Relation & Retention ft. Unny Nambudiripad

Webinar1 hourRelationship-buildingStorytellingUpdating donors on your workThanking donorsMaking the askPitching

Join us to learn the basics of how to build successful long term donor relationships. We will cover the entire cycle of donor cultivation starting from identifying prospects to making the final ask. This easy step by step process will help ensure better donor relation management for nonprofits, even with a small team.


Solicitation is very important!

As a fundraiser, you need to get comfortable talking about money. Most donors give to other organisations as well as your own.

Work through your own relationship with money if you’re uncomfortable talking about it.

Someone who gives 1000 dollars is probably a very significant donor.

Learn about your donors

What are your donors’s goals in life?

What do they think make a powerful animal protection movement?

What difference do they want to make in the world?

We are trying to help them fulfil their goals = they are partnering with you to do the work. We are developing this connectedness by having these types of conversations.

You can thank donors any time and you can’t thank a donor too much (immediately, three month later, a year later).


You need then update them about the work that you’ve done that’s been accomplished with the give = evoke the feeling that they are a part of this and their work is powerful and meaninful.

Once a month update is great = more often is ok.

Talk about accomplishments:

The most important thing is not to talk about budget lines only but to talk about the transformation you managed to achieve.

22:00: Storytelling - tell an authentic story that demonstrates your impact using concrete individual - the protagonist, their struggles and challenges, how they overcame them.

There is a lot of overlap between your volunteers and donors. Some people want to get involved more than others. We don’t want to convey that people have to do more to be good activists.

Ask for feedback about your work - you don’t actually have to do everything you’re recommended, but it will achieve the following things:

  • It will make the donor feel good and valued
  • You will hear what the donor likes most about your work
  • The donor might bring a valid point on how you can improve

Some lessons from private practice (not recorded)

  • Personal stories really work
  • Have your elevator pitch ready - be able to explain your work conscisely and in simple terms

Donor tracking

  • We need to have some donor information, spreadsheet is ok but database is better
  • Organisation turnover is healthy and good - so make sure that it’s not just one person who is in touch with the donors. Maintaining these relationships is what facilitates retention.

Final notes:

People rarely get offended when you ask for money, when they do it’s likely because you didn’t do a good job with stewardship.

If the person agrees straight away, it’s probably because you didn’t ask for enough. Make sure to ask for more for the second time.

If people have donated before, it’s a good idea to ask them to become monthly donors.

What we are here to do is to give an opportunity to the donors to partner with you to accomplish the work that they care about.