Countless hours are wasted in nonprofit organizations discussing the next move to do with a donor. Sometimes more time is spent talking about the need to call a donor than actually spent in developing a relationship with the donor. Ten minutes in a personal conversation with a donor is more valuable than ten minutes planning a personal conversation (you should still spend time planning these conversations- the point is to spend more time in these conversations).
Network for Good produced a funny video on this very topic, a parody on Customer vs. Advertiser, their video is called Donor vs. Fundraiser. This video makes a bold statement that we often lose touch with our individual donors and treat them only based on their trends, demographic, or past giving.
You will learn more relevant & current giving information about your donors by picking up the phone and thanking them for their gift than you will using statistical modeling (data driven fundraising still has value- the point is not to forget the value of the individual connection). When you communicate your benefit is twofold on one hand you can learn valuable information about what is happening in their life and what is important to them, and in addition to that, and at the same time, you show them that they are of value to your organization and without trying cultivate them and bring them closer to you.
I think that successful social media is challenging this idea by cultivating the individual person and reminding us of power of every donor. With online communication there can be very little planning about making the next “move” as successful conversation happens organically in the moment. If you spend too much time planning your next response online your opportunity to connect may be gone all together.