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10 Unique Ways to Thank Your Donors

posted in: Donor Cultivation | 0

While you might be out there looking for your next major donor prospect, what are you doing to thank your CURRENT donors and inspire them to give again?  The ones who give to you year after year?  To me, that’s like saying, “I have so many close friends…but I want to find more!”

It’s your current donors that are really your organization’s best friends!  They keep your programs humming along, right? Don’t they deserve more of your time and attention?

I was motivated to write this post after listening to a recent webinar – “Hump Day Coffee Break” with John Haydon – where he and his guest discussed creative ways to inspire repeat donors.

Here’s 10 unique things you can do today to thank your donors-

  1. Send a “happy anniversary” card one year after their first gift, or better yet, after 5 years or even 10 years!
  2. Ask board members to call your top donors and say thank you. Give them a script if the idea makes them feel uncomfortable.
  3. Have a beneficiary of your program – whether it’s a child or adult- or even an animal – send a thank you note. Who doesn’t love a note written in crayon by a child, or a paw print of a dog or cat from a shelter program inside a card?
  4. Make them feel like a hero and feature them in your next newsletter, e-mail blast or social media post (with their permission, of course- not all donors want their gifts to be publicly known).
  5. Call them and give them an update on how their last gift was used without making an ask, thanking them for their last gift.
  6. Repeat #5 in the form of a short handwritten letter of gratitude with photos of how you put their last donation to good use.
  7. Do something unexpected – send a Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or birthday card.
  8. Create a personalized thank-you video thanking them personally and featuring a staff person or a beneficiary of your work and send them a private link. This can be easily done with any smart phone and a file-sharing free service, like Dropbox.com – they will probably share it with all their friends!
  9. Mail them a hand-written thank you card without asking for anything – just a simple “We couldn’t do what we do without you!” would suffice. Hardly anyone writes thank-you cards anymore. Imagine how you feel when you get one in the mail! It’s such a pleasant surprise!
  10. Send a short, personalized e-mail thanking them for their continued support and let them know how much they mean to you.

What have you tried that has worked for you? I’d love to hear your ideas!