It Takes Two to Tango: 5 Tips for Engaging Your Donor’s Partner

You love your donor and they love your organization. But what about your donor’s partner? What have you done to help them become enthusiastic about your mission? Here are few quick tips to show your donors’ partners some love.

It takes two to tango. In a relationship both parties are part of the decision making process—especially when it comes to financial decisions, like donations. You may receive larger gifts or more frequent gifts if both people are on board and well-educated about your mission.

Both deserve recognition. Say goodbye to referring to your donors as Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Carter. Make sure you honor the donation they made with both of their names— “thank you to Mr. Shawn Carter and Mrs. Beyoncé Knowles-Carter for your donation.” The details make a difference!

Be inclusive. As an extension of the point above, always use inclusive language. Know your donors and learn how they feel comfortable being referred to in public or in a letter. Speak in terms that appeal to both partners so both feel welcome and called to donate to your cause.

Think long, long term. If both partners are engaged, they will be more likely to donate to your cause for a longer period of time. For example, women are more likely to remain loyal to a charity, giving more consistently over a longer period of time. Also, women outlive men, so if there is a female partner in the relationship, she is more likely to have ultimate control of planned gifts.

Make sure your board is diverse. This tip will help on many levels, but in this instance think about how one partner will feel if he or she isn’t represented on your board. Everyone wants his or her voice heard.

It’s worth your time to get to know both peas in the (donor) pod.

Photo credit: © Kevin Johnston Used under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-2.0) license.




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