Five Ways to Thank Your Donors
It’s nice to feel appreciated for all the hard work that your nonprofit does—especially in the form of donations that allow you to continue that work. And those generous donors who allow you to do so like to feel appreciated as well. Since this is the time of year when your organization is likely to receive the bulk of its annual donations, here are a few tips for thanking your donors:
While it’s impossible to visit with every one of your donors, especially if you are working with limited time and a small budget, try meeting with your largest ones in person once a year. You can also save time by inviting donors to tour your offices and related facilities, which would really allow them to make a connection to the work you do. Or even better, host an event for donors if you are in a party mood.
In this impersonal world of texting and e-mail, actually dialing the phone would allow donors to hear from the tone of your voice just how appreciative you really are. It will only take a few minutes per call, and allows you to still make that personal connection if personal visits are impossible.
If your organization has Facebook or Twitter, there’s no excuse for not posting a quick but heartfelt thank you. Also be sure to thank them on your website and newsletters.
Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, so recording a personalized video thanking donors is quick and easy. It doesn’t have to be long—a couple of minutes should be sufficient. And there’s no need to be stuffy either—if you have talented staff members, don’t be afraid to film a thank you in the form of a song and dance routine. Actually, you don’t even need to have talent—being completely willing to embarrass yourself on film will show just how thankful you are. Another option is to film the clients who’ve benefited from your work delivering the message.
In this high-tech world, this is a decidedly low-tech approach, but one that really shows your appreciation. Donors may be slightly shocked to receive a handwritten note, but they will feel much more appreciated than if it had been a thank you that seems vaguely like a mass e-mail.
And remember, when it comes to donations, you can never say thank you enough times. So don’t be afraid to use more than one of these tips at a time. And no matter what form it takes, get that initial thank you out as quickly as possible: the longer it takes, the less genuine it will seem. You can always follow up with more personalized ones afterward.