Saying “thank you” is a simple but powerful act. It only takes a moment, yet it’s one of your most important tools for building and maintaining relationships with your nonprofit’s supporters.
After the whirlwind of seasonal volunteerism, events, and holiday campaigns, the last thing on your mind may be thanking the people who made it all possible (despite your best intentions!). But when done well, a simple “thank you” can encourage future giving and involvement in your organization. This small act can be a critical piece in any nonprofit’s overall campaign strategy. If you’re unsure about the best approach for thanking your supporters, we’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you out.
Your website is prime real estate for making public announcements, highlighting volunteer opportunities, and communicating impact. Why not capitalize on this space to thank your donors?
One idea is to create a public “stewardship” section on your website. This section would be a great place to express gratitude to a large audience. It could also have the dual purpose of boosting engagement with future donors while and increasing loyalty among your current audience.
Photographs can help illustrate your organization’s success stories and provide updates. The strength of visual storytelling lies in the ability to quickly create a strong emotional connection between your cause and your donors–this works when thanking contributors and showing their impact as well! Humanize your photos by including the faces of the people you serve whenever possible. Mobile-phone photos are fine, but professional-quality photos are even better if you’re going to include the photos in print materials.
A video is a creative and engaging medium for showing appreciation to your donors and volunteers.. Keep the video below 2 minutes for maximum engagement. Don’t feel like you have to have the most cutting-edge technology or artistic inclination to create a successful video message. Even footage shot on your phone can be a great way to share your gratitude.
Check out this great thank you video from Charity:Water
Pick up the phone! A great way to cultivate both trust and a positive impression of your organization is to give donors a call and genuinely thank them for everything they’ve done to support your cause. To stay on top of this, assign someone on staff to make these calls at least twice a month. Reaching out to donors individually is an important part of building relationships with them.
Old Fashioned “Thank You” Letter
One of the most time-tested ways to thank someone is by thank you letter. You should send your letter as quickly as possible following a donation. According to NonprofitPro, anywhere between two days and two weeks is an appropriate length of time to send it. If you wait too long, you miss the chance to deepen the bond between you organization and the donor or volunteer. Check out this resource for writing a great thank you letter.
It is essential to thank your donors after your holiday campaign (and throughout the year!). Adopting one or more of these strategies can boost donor engagement and retention while promoting a positive impression of your organization. Donors want to know that you appreciate their contributions. When you consider that fundraising boils down to two sources—new and existing donors—it’s clear any nonprofits needs effective ways to keep their donors coming back year after year.
What’s your favorite way to thank your donors? Let us know in the comments!