Funding Change Consulting Blog Advice

Show Your Donors Extra Love on Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day offers opportunities for creative donor stewardship.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday for donor love. And the nonprofit sector is certainly lacking in that department!

Need proof? Just look at the average donor retention rates we see year after year.

With lots of organizations (maybe yours?!) being in touch with supporters mostly when asking for money, this is a good opportunity for a little stewardship.

And because sharing is caring, my Valentine’s Day gift to you is some ideas for how to shower your donors with love on February 14th.

1. Call your donors (or more realistically, a segment of your supporters) and give them a special valentine’s thank you. Bonus points if you recruit volunteers, staff, or board members to help.

Your message is simple. It’s something like, “Hi, this is Penny calling from Dogs Rule to say Happy Valentine’s Day. You have such a kind heart and we are so grateful for your support. I hope your day is filled with love!”

That’s it. Short and sweet! I’ve written before on making thank you calls so check that out for more advice on the logistics of this type of call.

2. Send an old-fashioned valentine in the mail. Grab the construction paper and get crafty! Write “You are so kind!” or “Won’t you be our valentine?” Depending on your cause, you can play up the puns.

The Georgia Aquarium came up with, “I’m Otterly in Love with You” along with so many other adorable messages for their valentine’s outreach. If your agency works with kids, this is the perfect art project for them.

Whatever you send, mail it in a colorful envelope that will stand out in the pile of mail. And hand-address the envelopes!

3. Send a fun email or post on social media. It’s less personal but has more reach if enough people see it.

If you go this route, the best approach is to create the graphic yourself with a message that’s relevant to your mission like the otter example above. Email it, post it, tweet it…go nuts!

Here are some of my favorite examples of this type of outreach…

Conversation Heart -- I love nature .  Photo collage in shape of heart

Apple heart--You're the apple of our eyes! .  We love our blood donors! XOXO

Puzzle piece heart--You're an important piece of our puzzle. .      Will you be mine?


4. And last but certainly not least, name a cockroach! Yup, a cockroach. The Bronx Zoo created one of my all-time favorite fundraising campaigns. It may not be the best fit with your mission but it’s too brilliant not to share. See for yourself.  

From phone calls to cockroaches, there’s really no limit to what you can do to show your love this Valentine’s Day. Have fun with it!


Tina Cincotti, owner of Funding Change, is a donor communications expert and general nonprofit nerd.
February 5, 2019

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