Remembering birthdays is an important step for donor stewardship

BirthdayMy birthday is 5 January. It’s a day I hear from many people on Facebook, LinkedIn, email, the telephone (live calls and SMS), and, of course, in person. Handwritten birthday cards are, for many, a thing of the past. Most who I hear from are family, personal friends, and colleagues/customers. I also hear from companies I do business with – airlines, family heritage websites, and others who know my birthday. It is rare I hear birthday greetings from charities I support. Remembering donor birthdays is an important step for donor stewardship.

McGrath FoundationOn my 2018 birthday, I heard from two charities. This year, one non-profit organisation took the time to send me a Happy Birthday email, McGrath Foundation. McGrath Foundation sent me the birthday email at 10AM the day prior to my birthday. This email not only wished me a happy birthday, but it also thanked me for my support of McGrath Breast Care Nurses – doubt the donor care!

Simply wishing a donor a happy birthday is fantastic. In this case, McGrath Foundation used the opportunity to thank me for my ongoing support as a regular donor.

What are other reasons to track birthdays?

Other reasons to track your donor’s birthdays, which include:

  • Marketing segmentation.
  • Bequests marketing.
  • Bequests forecasting.

How do non-profit organisations obtain birth dates?

Obtaining birthdays from donors is a relatively easy task. Charities obtain dates of birth through the following:

  • Appeal response devices.
  • Donor screening.
  • Supporter surveys.
  • Electronic screenings of the database.
  • Asking the donor in person, via email, or the telephone.

All CRMs allow for you to track someone’s date of birth. For donor’s who are shy abut sharing their birth year, most will allow you to track the date of birth without tracking the four digit year. If they do not allow for the tracking of what is called a “fuzzy date”, non-profit’s typically create custom fields for DD, MM, and YYYY.

McGrath Foundation is not the only charity I support tracking my date of birth. I have informed others of my birthday when I signed up to be a regular donor, responded to their supporter survey and when I have responded to an appeal. McGrath Foundation is the only charity taking the time to utilise the information this year to wish me happiness on my birthday.

Charities that remember a donor’s birthday standout in the minds of the donors who are remembered.