Most of the time, when we think of thanking donors, we imagine the holidays. Maybe during Thanksgiving or Christmas, you could send thank you cards to your donors, or event invitations.
However, thanking and recognizing your donor’s contributions should be an all-year-round activity. Nothing is as important as showing gratitude and appreciating the people that go out of their way to support your nonprofit’s mission.
So how to thank your donors? Although cards and invitations are a good way to show your appreciation, the small, everyday things are just as effective.
Call Your Donors
This may sound simple, but hearing a real voice over the phone helps build connections and establish trust. You may want to find volunteers who will call donors, since there may be too many for you to call on your own. However, if the board members are the ones who make the calls, you may have a greater impact. Of course, you would need to be mindful of their schedules as well.
Write a Letter
Handwritten letters add a more personal touch to your appreciation, especially in this digital age where templated emails are sent out in bulk every day. Sometimes handwriting all your letters isn’t feasible though, so sending out heartfelt emails is a good alternative. Though not as personal, it is better than nothing at all!
Highlight Donors on Social Media
Everyone feels good when they are acknowledged and appreciated, and even more so when in public. Social media allows a low cost public acknowledgement for your donors that your followers would be able to see. Make sure you have your donors social media handles so you can feature them on your posts by tagging them.
Donors appreciate physical tokens of their support. You can get a variety of customized items – calendars, pens, mugs etc. – that you can send out to your donors as a thank you for their donations and attach thank you notes with them.
Events are not only a good way to build awareness about your nonprofit, but also a great way to meet your donors face-to-face and thank them in person for their contribution. This allows you to foster more personal relationships. Make conversations with them your central point however, and aim for a balance between promoting your nonprofit and socializing with your doors.
There are many ways you could thank your donors but you need to keep some things in mind. You should focus on the donor and not the donation, to show that you appreciate them for their altruism. Show them you care, and keep them informed and updated about where their contributions go. Make sure your acknowledgement is timely and not too late.
You should also make sure you don’t immediately ask for a new donation, or focus on yourself. Don’t use generic language or jargon – make it easy to understand while also being personal.
Your donors want to know that they are valued, and that they’re not dispensable or replaceable by any other person who comes along with a full wallet.