Building the Bridge: Update Your Supporters Regularly

In a world of “give and take,” it is often that we “take” from supporters without doing enough “giving” to them in return. 

Donors who have supported your campaign have given you something- a financial gift, a vote of confidence, and an open door to a relationship. Too often, the standard experience for a donor is: 

  1. Hear about campaign need
  2. Make a gift
  3. Receive automated thank-you
  4. Not hear from organization again until next year’s campaign need
  5. Repeat

You owe so much more to your donors that support you than the above relationship. You owe them consistent updates on what you are able to do with their support. The best part is that, by putting in the work to provide these updates, you are strengthening the relationship with the donor. 

When and how should we update our supporters?

At KindKatch, we set our partners up with content strategies for two main types of updates to supporters: ongoing/general engagement and campaign/event specific engagement. 

For ongoing/general engagement, we recommend splitting your supporters into twelve main groups. The key is to drive engagement with the core constituency of your organization. Decide on twelve core groups of supporters, partners, etc. that you need to keep engaged in your organization so they feel connected. On a day and time of your choosing, but keeping that time the same for all messaging for every quarter, send a KindKatch to the group that falls on that month and week of the quarter.  

Week 1 the Board would receive a KindKatch, Week 2 the organization staff would receive a KindKatch, etc., thus each group receives a personal message once a quarter from the executive director or key personnel of the organization which increases the overall engagement.

Below is a template of a chart for a standard Grassroots Non-Profit organization.  Specifically, the wild cards could be customized for a specific organization set up.

By QuarterMonth 1Month 2Month 3
Week 1BoardStaffVolunteers
Week 2 Event ParticipantsKey VendorsKey Sponsors
Week 3General DonorsMajor DonorsWild Card
Week 4Partner OrganizationsWild CardWild Card

Second, we recommend a set amount of updates around events/campaigns. Identify annual events and touch points that are a part of that event that you can utilize personal video messaging.

 Build a plan around when you should send out a personal video message and what it should include. Create videos at various events showing people participating or volunteering at the event.  Create pre-event videos from the event planning committee or Executive Director or event chairperson inviting them to register. Use previous year’s participant’s lists with a customized landing page for their registration. Send personal videos out prior to the event to build enthusiasm and excitement.  A great way to do this is to use the request media function on KindKatch to get content from prior years to build personal video messaging. Also, utilize sponsors for an event to provide content to share that allows them to do some cause based marketing and the organization to provide an additional touch point for the sponsor.

A basic cadence of video messaging updates, regardless of the event, is:

  1. Re engage past support 30-90 days before the event
  2. Live Campaign/Event Updates from the day of
  3. Recap of the event with a heartfelt thank you
  4. 90 Days post-event impact reminder

For more ideas on when to provide updates, here is a great article from GiveGab about Updating your donors on your campaign’s progress

MobileCause also offers advice on methods for updating supporters, including via social media, text, and email. With text messaging having a 99% open rate AND video being the dominant form of communication, we recommend sending personal video messages via text to your supporters. 

It is time that we flip the script on the “give and take” relationship with our donors. Start giving back to your donors with personalized updates, specifically sent via video, and watch your retention, revenue, and impact increase. 


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