Phew! The end-of-year Holiday giving season is over and all our hard work has paid off with record breaking donation levels on the books right? Not so fast….. How we thank our donors may be the biggest factor when we return to those contributors to ask them to renew their support.
There are many opportunities to show our appreciation for their donations throughout the year and the more we can connect with generous funders, the more passionate they may feel about our mission, and the more likely they may be to renew their support the next time we ask or even increase their gift.
Here are a few ways that we can say thank you beyond the standard, required tax letter:
- Make a phone call from a Board, staff or volunteer to say thank you
- Send them a personal note via email
- Have a client write a personal note to share how they have benefited from your program
- Deliver a small gift – under $5 that relates to your mission to key donors
- Invite them to tour your facility or witness your program in action
- Have coffee with them and your Program Director to meet another member of your team
- Host a donor appreciation reception or small gathering to thank contributors
- Send them and article or post about an issue that relates to your mission
Plan to do something every 3 to 4 months to stay in regular contact with donors so that they know we appreciate their support all year long and not just around the Holidays. We learn so much about our donors and their interest in our programs when we make a personal connection. This can be very helpful as we engage them further and seek their support for new initiatives to expand our programs.
For me, this is the most rewarding part of fundraising. It moves us beyond the transactional aspects of charitable giving and allows us to learn more about our donors and why they support our programs which can be so meaningful and inspiring.