Time To Thank Your Donors

Do you remember the commercial from years back where the Dunkin Donuts baker would rise each morning and declare?  “Time to make the donuts.”  Time to make the Donuts  Well, it’s time for you to thank your donors.
Of course, it’s always time to thank your donors, and you should be showing gratitude on a regular basis, not just after you have received a gift.  But take it up a notch and do something really special this month.
You may be thinking, why now?  It’s not Thanksgiving, the holidays, or Valentine’s Day.  Precisely.  Your donors probably won’t be expecting anything and should be pleasantly surprised. Send something early in the summer before your donors start to go on vacation.
Keep in mind that if your donors don’t feel appreciated, they may not donate again.
Here are a few things to help get you started and some different ways to thank your donors.
Create a good photo
The first thing you should do is find or take some great photos.  Maybe one where you get people together to hold a thank you sign.  Here are a few examples.  The first one is actually a video, but you can do the same thing with a photo.

You could also show your work in action.  Whatever you decide, be sure it’s engaging.  
Make a list of accomplishments
Choose a few accomplishments you have achieved so far this year and share those with your donors.  Remember to focus on how your donor is helping you make a difference for the people you serve.
Send a thank you card
Take that great photo and use it to create a note card or postcard.  It’s a good idea to invest in one of these, so you can have them on hand to send to volunteers and board members, as well as donors.  If cost is an issue, you could get a print shop to do it pro bono or find a corporate sponsor.  You could also just buy some thank you cards, but something that references your organization would be better.
Thank you cards are small, so you only need a few sentences.  Get a group together to write them – staff, board members, volunteers, even clients (if feasible).  Here’s a great suggestion of throwing a card shower. MANY, MANY, MANY THANKS 
Think about investing in note cards or a postcard.  Handwritten notes make a difference.
Email works, too
In addition to thank you notes, you can send out an email thank you.  You may also choose email if mailing cards is too hard to pull off.
Just because you are sending email,doesn’t mean you should skimp on quality.  Use an engaging photo and share some of those accomplishments.  Write a really heartfelt message and make it look nice.
Create a video
It’s so much easier to make videos now.  Think about creating a special thank you video.  The example I included above features different people connected with the organization saying thank you. This link includes a few more examples.  Our Favorite Nonprofit Thank You Videos 

Your video doesn’t need to be long, either.  A minute or less is perfect. 
You can use this video in an email message, in social media, and on your website.
These are just a few suggestions of ways to thank your donors right now.  Keep thanking them all year round, too.  Thank Your Donors All Year Round 

How are you thanking your donors?
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