Giving thanks to your supporters extends beyond formal letters. A dynamic approach to gratitude fills the space between written acknowledgments and helps you stay connected with your constituents. Appreciation is a form of validating the effort to create meaningful social change. Finding continual ways to thank your advocates maintains their motivation toward the cause, said Wild Apricot. This is especially true for volunteers, who are likelier to share their positive experiences when they feel appreciated. Here are some ways to demonstrate your sincere thanks:
Make gratitude public
A great way to make your appreciation genuine is to publicly recognize the efforts of your supporters. According to Firespring, public gratitude prompts most donors to give again. While you may feel cautious about putting your contributors in the spotlight, those who want to remain anonymous will let you know. You can display your gratitude in annual reports, newsletters or on social media.
In addition to prompting repeat donations, public recognition tells volunteers just how much they matter. Outlining a specific contribution can actually help a volunteer become even better at his or her role, said npENGAGE.
Alongside donors and volunteers, make sure you remember those who support your organization with unpaid time, reminded Community Organizer 2.0. Think about all your advocates: volunteers, Facebook evangelists, frequent Twitter commenters and anyone else whose actions get other people talking about your mission.
Involve supporters in decision-making
Donors, volunteers and online community members almost certainly talk to their social circles about your charitable work. They may even garner donations from their friends. Every positive mention of your nonprofit helps uphold the cause.
Pay attention to your social media activity, and make it a point to hold conversations with your volunteers. Ask new supporters where they heard of your organization, and try keeping notes with your document management software. This will help you identify those who consistently share your message and catalyze activism.
In other words, these are the supporters who create a lot of publicity and outreach free of charge. What better way to thank them than by offering an opportunity to be part of a planning committee? Inviting them to get involved in hands-on strategy shows that you trust them as partners in your vision.
Keep in touch
Whether through written letters, emails or social media posts, it’s important to share your progress with supporters, noted The Nonprofit Marketing Guide. Your constituents like to hear about how their contributions help you achieve your mission. Even the smallest successes matter, so don’t be shy about sharing the news. The heart of gratitude is composed of each individual making a difference.