I realize that thank you letters can be a little tedious, but thanking donors can be one key to your future fundraising success. I realize that’s a bold statement, but it’s true.
Let me say that again:
Thanking donors is one BIG key to your future fundraising success.
A Thoughtful Thank You will Keep Donors Loyal
Do you know your retention and attrition rates?
In other words, what are you doing to keep donors giving year after year? And what are you doing to prevent them from leaving?
Donors don’t need much of an excuse not to give again. They can find another charity that does similar work, their interests can change, they may feel like they don’t have as much to spare, or they already gave a lot that year to another organization.
The reasons that you can lose your donors are countless, so you really need to increase your efforts and give your donors good reasons to stay.
Find Novel Ways to Make Your Donors Feel Special
Donors have the same fundamental need as everyone else — that’s to feel loved, genuinely loved, and valued.
Think back to when you were a child. When you were little, did you ever make “coupon books” for your parents as gifts? Maybe for their birthday you would give them coupons for an extra hug and kiss, or breakfast in bed, or helping out with household chores. I know I did.
Recently I met a development director who took this to the extreme and made a coupon book for an elderly donor. One month she offered to shovel his sidewalk. Another she offered to take him on a walk. Another to bake him a pie. And another to drive him to the store.
I’ve never seen a more genuine or thoughtful thank you effort.
Just remember, your organization’s compelling mission is only one reason donors give. After all, there are lots of good charities doing important work in their community, so why should they choose, or continue to give to yours? How will you stand out?
3 Ways to Make Donors Feel Loved
What can you do to show your donors you appreciate them?
Here are just a few ideas:
Ask advice to bring donors into your inner circle.
First, ask your donor’s advice and do your best to take that advice. Bring them into your inner circle, and do whatever you can to make them feel special.
Thank donors in a personal way that shows real forethought.
Next, In today’s technological day and age, handwritten notes and personal phone calls go a long way. As the old jingle goes, “Reach out and touch someone,” with a personal note or phone call. You will stand out in the crowded sea of nonprofits if you do.
Have those you serve create something special for donors.
Last but not least, send them thank you cards from adults or drawings from the children you serve.
If you do, you will be sure to surprise and delight your donors with these simple but effective techniques.
So be creative and stand out!
Did you ever do anything novel to thank your donors and leave them with a lasting impression of your organization? Tell me about it in the comments.