I’ve written a couple of times recently about the lack of #DonorLove out there. This is a problem. Your donors want to feel appreciated and know their gift is helping you make a difference, and your lame, automatic thank you email doesn’t cut it. You need to do better.
Valentine’s Day is coming up and this is a perfect opportunity to thank your donors and show how much you appreciate their support.
Maybe you would prefer not to go for a Valentine’s Day theme, but you should still do something fun and creative to show appreciation this month (and every month for that matter). The holidays are over and Punxatawny Phil saw his shadow, so for those of us who live in Northern climates, you know what that means. We could all use a little mood booster 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. If you haven’t shown any #DonorLove since your year-end appeal, then you must reach out now.
Here are a few ways you can show some #DonorLove.
Create a thank you photo
Make your donor’s day with a great photo, like one of these.
You can send thank you photos via email and social media, use one to create a card, and include one on your thank you landing page.
Make a video
Videos are becoming an increasingly popular way to connect. Here are some examples of thank you videos.
Obviously, the purpose is to thank your donors. A simple video showing a bunch of people saying thank you will do the trick. You also want your video to be short, donor-centered, and show your organization’s work up close and personal.
Your thank you landing page is a perfect place to put a video (or a photo). This is your first opportunity to say thank you and most landing pages look like boring receipts. You can also put your thank you video on your website and share it by email and social media.
Send a card
A handwritten note will 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.
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, the Smith family now has a home of their own.
Phrases like Thanks to you or Because of you should dominate your newsletter and updates.
Thank you refresher course
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.
Thanking your donors needs to be a priority
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 could also look for additional sources of unrestricted funding to cover cards and postage.
Maybe you need a change of culture, and this comes from the top. Hello, Executive Directors. 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. Make a commitment to thank your donors at least once a month. Create a thank you plan to help you with this.
You don’t even need to wait for a holiday or special occasion. Just thank your donors because they’re amazing and you wouldn’t be able to make a difference without them.