Last week we talked about how having true heart in your organization’s two-way donor engagement plan is the true driver of a donor’s experience.

So today let’s dive deeper.

Going back to the customer engagement video that we showed last week about Lauree from Disney, you can just feel her passion shining through. She truly had a desire to make her clients feel like family. This light shone through her and was apparent in every interaction she had with people staying at the resort. She greeted everyone with a hug. She left them with a reminder package that made them feel special and reminded them of her.

So how can we re-create that type of culture in our everyday interactions?

You can indeed show that same kind of heart in all relations, regardless of the medium. In today’s world you have a variety of ways to interact with an organization – in person, talking on the phone, texting, emailing, etc. But although the medium changes, the heart doesn’t have too. The tone, personalization, and relevance that a donor feels can remain consistent no matter where they are interacting with you. Injecting heart into your communication is the key to being engaged, and this holds true when talking with your friends, customers, family or donors.

How can we show heart in donor engagement activities?

1. Engagement is a two-way street

As an example, in social media, when you are followed, liked or engaged with, don’t take this interaction lightly! Among millennial donors and supporters this is a vital sign of support. Ensure you have someone responsible for swiftly responding to comments and tweets. Thank new followers, acknowledge shares and retweets, and send personal messages when possible. It’s not uncommon to see many nonprofit social media accounts used for simple promotion, when in fact they should be used primarily for two-way interaction.

2. Give donors great information

It’s a key thing to remember that donors want to hear more about the cause that they donated too than just an ASK for more of their time or money. And you can give donors a reason to engage with their network over this type of news. Donors get involved with organizations because they love the cause. It’s likely that if you upload relevant and entertaining media about a campaign you’re running, a school you’ve built, or a news article pertaining to your industry, donors will like it and feel proud sharing it to their networks. You make it easy for them to do this through simple “share” and “repost” buttons, while they get to educate themselves and their friends on something close to their heart. Win for both!

3. Be genuine

Something even as small as smiling when you pick up the phone the next time a donor calls can inject heart into their day. Really, the act of giving is a beautiful one. Remind yourself that this person has parted with hard earned money or time because they want to help affect social change, just like you. This is a real universal connector, and a way to show gratitude is to simply be thankful when they call.

4. Thank donors well, and often

We can also show heart in our methods of donor appreciation. As we just mentioned, it’s so important to thank your donors and be truly grateful for their gifts. Act with heart when you are thanking them by including personal stories and loving feelings. Thank them often. Perhaps, for example, there is a way to see if your database has a way to query donors that recently gave a gift, say over the past month. Find those donors and send a recent success story that your organization experienced, whether it’s directly related to their donation or not. Make your donor feel like part of the cause and their heart will become intertwined with the heart of your organization.

Next week, we’ll talk more about how technology can drive donor engagement. For now, do you have any heart related donor engagement stories to share? We’d love to hear it! Tweet us @FineLine1.