Nothing says love more than Valentine’s Day. So why not take some extra time this month to tell your donors how you feel about them?
Shoot a few arrows of gratitude from your quiver of thankfulness!
5 Ways to Show Donors You Care
You’ll want to avoid cliché things like sending flowers and chocolates, but there are other great ways which touch feelings and express your love for your donors. Here are five.
1. Pick up the phone.
Maybe Stevie Wonder said it best — “I just called to say I love you.” And there’s no time like the present to say, “I appreciate you.”
Make a list of your top 20 donors and leave a sweet message on their voicemail. Let them know how much they mean to your organization and the people you serve. Share one example of how their involvement has been invaluable. Or simply tell them, “You make the world a better place.”
2. Send a handwritten card or drawing.
Hey, it’s a Hallmark holiday after all, so here’s a twist on that theme. Have your clients write notecards or draw pictures for your donors. Encourage them to be specific about how their life has changed as a result of being involved with your organization.
3. Deliver a photo.
Your smartphone is a constant reminder of how easy and convenient is it to take photos and selfies! Clearly there’s value in a photo. After all, a photo is worth a thousand words.
If possible, hand-deliver a photo (with a note or notecard) and show your donors just what a difference they make. This photo should represent your clients and speak volumes about your good work.
4. Send sweets.
It’s true, Valentines Day is all about the sweet treats. So have your clients bake cookies or giftwrap a few Hershey kisses to be delivered to donors. I know I said to avoid cliché things like sending chocolate, but this isn’t a standard box of chocolates — this is heartfelt and meaningful. The effort you and your clients put into these sweet gifts should be evident.
5. Make it real.
Finally, whatever you do, make it real.
My first thought for showing donors you care was to give them a great big hug, but that’s very personal and perhaps intimidating … and sometimes inappropriate!
So instead, find a way to express the true heartfelt nature of your appreciation for the good your donors’ gifts accomplish. Make it real — not a generalized gesture, but one that addresses the personal nature of the giver and the ultimate receiver. Something like:
“I am so very thankful for your help this year. You made John’s life so much better when you supported the feed a child program. He’s happy and healthy, thanks to you.”
It’s not a physical hug, but it certainly feels good to hear those words.
Donors Love to Feel Loved!
Every donor will like hearing about your appreciation for them. You won’t be able to do all of these things for everyone, but try to do a little something special for all your donors.
If the task seems overwhelming, segment your donors into groups of your largest donors, most loyal, first time, planned giving society, and others. Then do something special for each group to show how much they mean to you and your organization.
Appreciate your donors all year long…
You’ll learn even more ways you can show your donors appreciation all year long in Mastering Major Gifts, my 7 week online course. There’s an entire module devoted to stewardship and ways to follow up and thank your donors regularly, as well as the best ways to thank them after they’ve made a major gift.
It’s Valentine’s Day! Do something loving for yourself — sign up for Mastering Major Gifts today and give the gift that keeps on giving. Invest in yourself and your career. Get started learning to raise major gifts today!