Wondering how you can engage and thank your donors?
Donors aren’t like mushrooms – if you ignore them, they WILL go away. So you should be thinking about how to make their experience with your organization one that helps them feel connected and important.
The good news? There are endless ways you can create great experiences for your donors.
Here is a list to get your creative juices flowing.
- Tours to show off your programs – and the donor’s impact
- Educational opportunities (like a speaker) connected to your mission
- Small events in hosts’ homes with senior staff (it’s easier to feel loyal when you feel you know the organization’s people)
- Small events with other donors at the organization’s venue (these relationships around you can strengthen their relationship to you)
- Giving groups or circles with social opportunities (see above)
- Emailed links or clippings of articles connected to your mission AND the donor’s interest
- Personal cards on dates like the donor’s giving anniversary or birthday
- A set of notecards with photos of your work
- If you have a nice space, the opportunity to use or rent the space at a discount
- A thank you video – personalized with the donor’s name – made for them
- Public recognition (if the donor wants it! Be sure first.)
- Public recognition in the annual report
- Public recognition at your office
- Public recognition on your website
- Public recognition in your print or email newsletter
- Social media shout outs
- Invitation to your annual board meeting
- Invitation to a town hall conference call or an in-person meeting about a topic connected to your mission
- Invitation to a staff-led discussion of a timely/important mission issue
- Invitation to serve on a committee (not only a fundraising event committee!)
- Invitation to serve on the board
- A personal phone call – hold a Thankathon
- A handwritten note
- Where appropriate, a note from a beneficiary of their gift
- A donor profile in your newsletter or on your website
- A small gift of cookies or candy
- Candid photos of your mission at work, clipped to a personal thank you note
- An opportunity to share their opinion (seek feedback through surveys, quick questions, phone conversations)
- The rock-solid knowledge that they matter to you
It’s all too easy for your organization to be lost in the many ways your donors are asked to give. Every day brings new solicitations and emails. If you want to stand out, if you want to really matter to your donors, then you need to be sure they know they really matter to you.
You don’t have to spend lots of money to do that. In fact, fancy “gifts” can be a turn-off if it’s not in line with a donor’s giving. But you can be thoughtful about your donors.
Adopt a few of these ideas. Then think of more of your own and share them in the comments!