Trust is a legacy that will endure through generations, so a charity must prioritise laying strong foundations. When potential donors research the charity they consider supporting, they usually do some homework first as they want to know that their money will be used responsibly and as intended. One of the first questions in a donor’s mind is, “How will my donation be used?”
Here are our recommendations for building trust and credibility with supporters long into the future.
Registration and security
Choose your platforms carefully
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Instead, choose a couple of the social media sites available and ensure the content and images are tailored to those sites. Make sure the sites chosen are known for their community-building abilities – general ones to go for are Facebook and Instagram, then for corporate donors, LinkedIn is good. People take their lead from others when deciding on an action, so, the more favourable comments you can collect, the more they will be inclined to trust your non-profit.
Supporters value transparency
Share the way your charity works through live-streaming videos of your top projects. Let them know how their donations are being used and how the costs of a project are divided. Always follow through and tell your donors how much was raised. If there is an excess, advise what projects are in the pipeline and let them choose where they want their money to be allocated.
Share the joy
Show supporters pictures and videos of what was bought, built, or created with their contribution, and more importantly, show it in use.
Happy dogs running around their new exercise yard and children in Africa enjoying cups of water from their freshwater well are great. Still, if you can zoom in on the back story of just one child or one dog who is benefitting, it makes it even more personal. This personal account has way more merit than figures on a page and a list of projects accomplished.
Donors want to feel the joy and share in the new experiences. If it is possible, invite the donors to the opening event. When they attend in real life or via a video link, it builds trust and makes them part of the action.
Supporters past, present and future want to know that you know who they are. Always personalise correspondence by name and refer to previous support and campaigns given to. Opening a letter or email sent from the CEO filled with personal details will help build trust and credibility on a one-on-one basis.
Earning trust takes hard work and dedication, but moving forward is so much easier once the foundations of the legacy have been laid.
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