When was the last time you thanked your donors? If it’s been at least a month then you need to show some donor love.
Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to thank your donors and show how much you appreciate their support. Maybe you’d rather not acknowledge Valentine’s Day, but you should still do something fun and creative to show appreciation in February. The holidays are over, and we could all use a little pick me up right now. This is also a good opportunity to stay in touch with the people who gave to your year-end appeal, especially first-time donors.
Here are some ideas.
Create a thank you photo
Make your donor’s day with a great photo, like one of these.
Send thank you photos via email and social media, use one to create a card, and include one on your thank you landing page.
If you have the time and resources, you could also create a thank you video.
Share an update or success story
In addition to saying thank you, share a brief update or success story. Emphasize how you couldn’t have helped someone without your donor’s support. For example – Thanks to you, Bobby won’t go to bed hungry tonight.
Send a card
A handwritten note can also brighten your donor’s day. If you don’t have the budget to send cards to everyone, send them to your most valuable donors. These may not be the ones who give you the most money. Do you have donors who have supported your organization for more than three years? How about more than five years? These are your valuable donors.
Another idea – Send a small number of thank you cards every month, ensuring that each donor gets at least one card a year. Spreading it out may be easier on your budget.
Thank You Basics
Make this the year you do a better job of thanking your donors. Thank your donors right away and send a thank you note/letter or make a phone call. Electronic thank yous aren’t good enough.
Be personal and conversational when you thank your donors. Don’t use jargon or other language they won’t understand. Write from the heart, but be sincere. Give specific examples of how your donors are helping you make a difference.
If your budget doesn’t allow you to mail handwritten cards, is there a way you can change that? You may be able to get a print shop to donate cards. You can also look for additional sources of unrestricted funding to cover cards and postage.
Maybe you need a change of culture. Getting your board, all staff, and volunteers involved in thanking your donors will make a huge difference.
Keep thinking of ways to surprise and delight your donors! Get creative.
You can’t say thank you enough. Create a Thank You Plan to help you thank your donors at least once a month.
You don’t even need to wait for a holiday or special occasion. Thank your donors because they’re incredible and you wouldn’t be able to make a difference without them.
Photo by Liz West