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Managing donor relations

Last edited: January 03, 2012

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Donor support should be acknowledged, e.g. on printed materials, the campaign website and at campaign events. If there are good reasons not to publicly acknowledge specific donors, e.g. when operating in politically sensitive environments, the relevant organizations should be informed of these constraints early on.

A productive relationship with a donor requires regular communication that updates donors on the campaign without overburdening them with excessive information. E-mail newsletters are an inexpensive way of maintaining contact with large numbers of donors and other stakeholders. As much as possible, donors should also be invited to campaign activities.

Campaigns that have several institutional donors can reduce the burden of multiple reporting requirements by organizing annual donor meetings for all their donor representatives. Such meetings can replace multiple separate donor visits, and enhance coordination between the donors. Consolidated reports can be presented that show all campaign expenses and income, rather than one separate report for each donor. Such a “consortium” approach is likely to reassure donors, because it is transparent.