What Can You Do for Donors During Thanksgiving Week?
It all comes down to the mindset of no gift is too small. No gift should ever be overlooked, especially during these difficult financial times. If someone sends you $5 in cash, they may not be able to do more, but they want to make a difference with what they can afford.
I know you are focused on Giving Tuesday, but what is often forgotten is how to show gratitude for past giving. I suggest making this week, leading up to Thanksgiving, the time to say “thank you.”
It can be as simple as emailing a picture of one of your constituents with a thank-you sign. It can be as simple as the words, “thank you” or a picture of a cornucopia with a “Happy Thanksgiving'' message below it. Send it early in the week or send it on Thanksgiving Day.
For monthly donors, make a version with an additional line: We are so grateful for your ongoing, monthly support.” Or, use “regular support” if you have multiple frequencies.
As you know, I give monthly to 40 to 50 organizations. I don’t know how many exactly until I sit down to go through my records.
One organization sent me a postcard that said, “thank you” as part of its two weeks of gratitude for Thanksgiving. Next, the organization sent me a personalized video, complete with my name used throughout, to recognize me for my monthly support. That requires special technology, so it’s not something everybody is able to do, but just even having the donor’s name in the email and a video from the field, saying “thank you,” is very powerful.
Especially in a world where thank-you notes are becoming a lost art, the words “thank you'' and “gratitude” are critical for future giving and fundraising success.
And if you’re ever stumped for ideas, Lynne Wester of the DRG Group (formerly the Donor Relations Guru) has an amazing free resource library filled with gratitude ideas.
I am grateful for consultant colleagues who are willing to share their knowledge and resources like this. I am grateful for Nonprofit PRO for allowing me to share this post with you.
Have a great Thanksgiving and a great week leading up to Giving Tuesday. I am grateful for you and your work in making a difference in this world. Thank you!
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.