When Fundraising, Don't Forget to Thank Donors!
When nonprofit organizations are in the midst of fundraising efforts, follow-ups can fall by the wayside. Asking for and receiving funds takes the focus, and nonprofit employees may forget to extend their appreciation. Several months can go by between the donation and further contact with donors, which may hurt your nonprofit in the long run.
Keeping funds coming in requires cultivating relationships with the donors. Donor retention in 2014 had a median of 43 percent for the included nonprofits, according to CauseVox. With fairly low repeat givers, a nonprofit can become short on funds and suffer.
Demonstrating gratitude is the beginning of a strong connection with donors. Build relationships with your donors by making initial contact to show thanks, then continue involving them in your nonprofit business. So, what are effective ways to extend your thanks? The following strategies can show your appreciation for those contributing to your operation.
1. Send Out Handwritten Notes
Amid a sea of automated emails and text alerts, handwritten letters stand out. You can show your donors you're willing to take time and sit down to create a customized note for them. Rather than addressing a mass of donors in an email, you can single out each name.
Taking a cue from a for-profit business can show how effective this method is. HEX, a small but dedicated company that makes wallets, packs and camera bags, decided to have its employees pen 13,000 thank-you notes to their customers by hand. The response from their customers was substantial, as many shared and replied to the personalized messages over social media.
Donors can benefit from the same attentive care. Entrust your volunteers or workers with the task of crafting handwritten letters thanking each donor.
2. Implement Social Media Shout-outs
Physical letters are rare and considerate, but this doesn't mean you should avoid technology. Social media can appeal to younger donors and create convenience for your not-for-profit business. Shout-outs and highlights of donors can publicly communicate your thanks.
Recognition creates considerable motivation for donors, and pointing out their contribution can bring a sense that they're making a difference. Cheer on their efforts for your nonprofit and express their value to your business.
3. Include Gifts in Their Welcome Package
While verbal appreciate and written thank-yous are necessary, handheld items can be an extra treat for your supporters. As your fundraiser brings in donors, send them a welcome package filled with meaningful gifts. Educate your donors about your nonprofit with informational material, but add fun items to the bundle, too.
Donors can sport your gear to reinforce their support of your cause or business. Tote bags or tech accessories promoting your nonprofit can be a tactile way to pass on your thanks. Gather trendy promotional products that represent your brand and message to remind your donors of you.
4. Make Personal Phone Calls
Follow-up phone calls can be a positive, quick and to-the-point communication method. Even a brief exchange with a representative of your nonprofit can establish a considerable connection. Contact donors over the phone about 48 hours after they've contributed to your nonprofit for a memorable result.
Ensure the callers, whether volunteer or employed, make it clear you aren't asking for further donations. Convey that the purpose of the call is to deliver thanks. It can be helpful to create a script for these phone calls to keep all conversations consistent, professional and on-message.
5. Record an Appreciation Video
According to Qgiv, 57 percent of people who watch nonprofit videos go on to donate. So, there's a good chance your video can make an impact on existing donors with your gratitude, too. Captivating visuals can pull people in and show them their contribution matters.
Videos can simulate face-to-face interaction, which can resonate with donors. Explain a little about where their money is going to show transparency and authenticity. Also, limit your video to a few minutes to keep their attention.
Express Your Appreciation to Your Donors
During your fundraising campaign, intentionally thank your donors as they contribute to your nonprofit. Each person that gives to your not-for-profit business deserves your gratitude, and with the right strategy, you can effectively pass on thanks. Demonstrate their value through notes, calls, gifts and videos to make their giving personal.