Every nonprofit organization I’ve raised money for has had donor “clubs.” Oddly, they didn’t seem more than a way to categorize giving levels.

When I thought of “club,” I thought of racquet ball, overstuffed leather chairs, and cigars & port. (One or two alum have invited me into these clubs.) If not that posh, I certainly think of special access and priveleges.

But we never seemed to offer that. The “clubs” seemed to be solely for our categorization, nothing really for the donors.

If you have gift clubs, are yours offering people anything? Or do all your donors get the same treatement, regardless of their giving level?

Author and business guru Michael Masterson recently wrote about clubs in his ETR ezine. Of the “psychological benefits a club can offer,” he listed:

  1. Fraternity: the camaraderie of like-minded people
  2. Purpose: the sense that, by merely being a member, you are advancing a good cause
  3. Status: the immediate social standing conferred by acceptance into a limited group

You can read the entire article “Does it Make Sense to Turn Your Business into a Club?.”

The good news? Even if your organization isn’t actively cultivating club benefits like fraternity, purpose, or status, donors may already feel one or more of these. When they look at the annual report, they see the other people that gave at their level. And they see the incredible work your organization is doing.

How could you harness these passive psychological benefits and intentionally reinforce them? How can you make being a donor more like being a member in a club? Special invitations to events? Special mailings?

Choose one and put it into practice this week! And feel free to comment on the blog or email me at marc@fundraisingcoach.com.

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