Showing appreciation to donors should be at the top of every nonprofit’s to-do list. Year-round, organizations need to demonstrate gratitude to the people and groups that keep their mission afloat and growing. The onset of the holiday season means year-end thank you messages will need to be sent out soon. This year, trying a more unique approach can help improve donor retention.
Chances are constituents anticipate the same, monotonous thank you cards from their favorite organizations and institutions every year. Why not catch their attention with a personalized, impressive display of gratitude?
Embrace change gratitude
Varying the methods and voices used when giving thanks will keep donors interested in whatever the nonprofit has in store next. The Nonprofit Marketing Guide recommended alternating which board member signs letters or writes thank you messages in the e-newsletter. The same language and perspective time and again can become routine quickly. Switching things up helps funders get to know a nonprofit better as well.
Also, opt for a new greeting for each letter or email update. A simple “Thank You” to open a message is not a poor choice, but it is redundant and likely used in many cards donors receive during the holidays. Try out a more compelling first line that personalizes the interaction. Something akin to “Your generosity amazes me!” or “Look how your gift helped us” can draw a reader in faster than a traditional greeting.
Throughout the year, organizations should be keeping their constituents abreast of the progress made on every level. Whether or not the impact is significant, knowing that the NPO is always active is a great confidence builder for donors. This shows them that their funding is actively working for a cause. After sharing good news, invite donors to participate in an event. Ann Green’s Nonprofit Blog stated that this shouldn’t necessarily be another invitation to give money, as they have already done that and likely won’t again for a while. Invite them to a special occasion or open house where they can learn more about the progress being made or participate in an activity.
It’s also a good idea to highlight certain donors who have either donated large sums of money or time to the cause. Photos of meaningful participation in a fundraiser or a simple quote from a constituent detailing why they invest in the organization can have a big impact on other donors.
Don’t forget the staff
Nonprofit Hub wanted to make sure staff were not forgotten when charities give thanks. Both volunteers and paid employees are the lifeblood of any organization. It’s important to acknowledge these people and thank them on the most personal level possible. Hand-written cards or personalized emails with specific examples of their contributions over time can dramatically improve their experience and morale.
Investing in volunteer and donation management software can help organizations better track their constituents’ gifts over time and provide personal, emotional thanks to all year round. With a seamless integration process and easy-to-use features, nonprofits would be wise to utilize a platform that allows them to stay in touch with current donors and give thanks for the work they do.