Does Your Organization Reward Loyalty?

In this short video, former #JCampConf speaker Lynne Wester talks about the importance of rewarding your most loyal donors - those loyal donors who give every year (or even every month?) - no matter how large their gifts.
We know rewarding loyalty isn’t the norm. Consider your cable company. Who gets the best rate? Not the loyal customer who has been paying high rates for months and months. Instead, cable companies give the NEW subscribers the best deal. How does that make you feel, loyal cable subscriber?
Who does this well?
The hospitality industry does this well…sometimes. Consider the free upgrades to first class for frequent flyers. Or the warm chocolate chip cookie waiting for the frequent guest at a particular hotel chain. These touches are meant to reward the loyalty of regular customers.
And what about those apps or punch-cards that give you a free coffee or bagel after you’ve purchased 10?
What does this mean for camps?
The same thought should go into rewarding your camp’s loyal donors. Loyal donors, even those who give relatively small amounts, are some of your camp’s best ambassadors. They are also Legacy giving prospects. By giving regularly, they have already shown how much they care about and support your camp and its mission.
Have a donor who has given 5 years straight? 10 years? Think about what you can do to show you noticed and show your gratitude. Maybe the ED calls them on the phone to say thank you, regardless of the amount of their gift? Or a special postcard is sent to them on the 5th/10th anniversary of their first gift? Could they be invited to a special event? The important thing is that the loyal donor feels like the organization appreciates their loyalty.
Where should you start?
To make sure you are rewarding your loyal donors, do the following:
  1. Make clean, complete data in your donor database a priority so you can easily report on your most loyal donors. This will require good data standards and training, too.
  2. Make a plan. Put whatever activities you want to implement to reward your loyal donors in your year-round stewardship plan so that they don’t fall through the cracks.
  3. Show real gratitude when connecting with your loyal donors.
Bottom Line: Your loyal donors are an important part of your camp’s support network. Be sure to show them the gratitude they deserve.

Written by Kevin Martone. Kevin is the Technology Program Manager with JCamp 180. His focus area is in applying technology (database management, communications) to support fundraising and outreach efforts. Kevin leads JTEC (JCamp 180 Training in Effective Communications) and co-leads Data2Donors, a program to help camps prioritize their database for improved Alumni outreach and fundraising.

Who we are: JCamp 180 is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). Our goal is to significantly enhance the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit Jewish camps in North America. To meet this goal, we provide affiliated Jewish camps with consulting services, annual conferences, shared resources, professional development, and matching grant opportunities. Find more at