As we pointed out in our blog post about donation forms, thanking your donors is an important step in any fundraising process. If you’re saying thank you via post-donation web pages and emails, you’re doing it right. Especially if those messages include ways for people to get involved with your organization beyond just giving money. But that’s not where the thank you process has to end. If you’re considering something a little more creative, but don’t know where to start, here are four suggestions to show your gratitude.
Recording a video thank you is a great way to stand out. Videos can be short, we’re not talking about Hollywood production quality here. They’re also easily sharable content that you can send via email and post on your social media channels. Putting your team on camera reminds supporters that there are committed and hard-working people behind the scenes, making sure that their money is being put to good use. Videos can be fun and light-hearted, which can work well during the holiday season. And, if you have a YouTube channel, directing people there can also give them an opportunity to see your other video content and learn more about your organization’s mission.
Tokens of Appreciation
A small and affordable token of appreciation can function as a great thank you for donors. A branded item not only serves as a nice little holiday gift, it is also a reminder of your work all year long – especially if it’s something that people will use regularly. From seasonal items, like hats and scarves, to everyday items, like mugs or bottle openers, the possibilities are endless. Limiting the number of gifts you have available, or tying them to a specific minimum donation, can push supporters to give earlier in your campaign, or slightly more than they originally planned. We’ve even heard of organizations that enter all donors who give a certain amount or more into a drawing for a larger grand prize (of course, check local ordinances and laws before setting up a raffle or “lottery”).
Social Media Shout Outs
Emails, hand written notes, and phone calls are pretty tried and true ways to say thank you. They work to get the attention of the individual, but they’re also only seen or heard by that person. If you’ve got a group of key supporters, consider public thank yous to them via social media. Not only will this bring a smile to that person’s face, it’s also sharable, which can help spread your nonprofit’s message to your donors’ friends and family. That means you could actually grow your network of supporters simply by thanking the ones you already have.
Repackage Your Reports
Nonprofits use annual reports to highlight the previous year’s accomplishments. They’re often sent to donors to tell them the impact of their gifts. While numbers and spreadsheets are important, there are also other elements you can include when you build annual reports to make the content pop. Photos, stories, and infographics can describe the same success while also creating a more emotional connection. Looking for another way to tell donors how impactful their support is? Consider sending postcards to them later in the year to let them know exactly when and how their financial contribution was used.
Unless you’re willing to knock on every donor’s door to say thank you in person, these creative ideas could be your best bet. They strike the right balance of being personal and thoughtful, without becoming too much additional work for your team.
I like the idea of social media shoutouts. Do you recommend any services for that? or do many NPOs share a donor roll for the week ? Some may object to being mentioned on SoMe channels without prior consent.
I really like the idea of the social media shoutout and video messages. Do you have any recommendations for tools or would that come from the CRM?
Some donors might be sensitive to their name being shared on social channels
We do think this could come from the CRM though we don’t have a specific tool in mind at the moment. For your concerns about social media, you could add an opt-in check box giving the organization permission to recognize them on social media. Also, since many post donation pages prompt social media sharing, you could recognize those who choose to participate that way with a retweet.