Thanking Your Donors: A Crash Course

Stefanie Pous December 15, 2016, by Stefanie Pous

The whirlwind of #GivingTuesday has come and gone. Now you’re left counting your donations and your lucky stars. You worked hard and met (or maybe even surpassed!) your goals, but your work is far from finished.

Now is the time to show your donors how much you appreciate their gifts and reaffirm their decisions to give to your organization this year.

Long-gone are the days of a receipt counting as a thank-you. Your donors chose YOU on this international day of giving and need more than just a generalized “thanks” in return. Let them know just how much of a difference their gift made.

So where to even start? Of course, thanking your donors goes far beyond a simple one-time engagement and should be an ongoing stewardship process. But here are just a few meaningful ways to say “thank you” to help you get started:

Emails

Sending emails is a quick and easy way to access all of your donors. Using email marketing tools (we recommend Drip), you can create custom emails and mailing lists to suit each of your donor's needs. You can also use these tools to track engagement, see who has opened and interacted with your emails, and make sure that they are reaching the right people.

Research is pointing to a hike in email communications and fundraising in 2017. With email being a primary source of incoming online donations and only continuing to grow, it cannot be overlooked. Build up your mailing lists now to solidify your strategy in the coming giving season.

 

Thank-you letters

Good ol’ snail mail. Though it may seem outdated, you should never underestimate the power of paper and an envelope. In fact, many donors prefer thank-you letters to any digital form of communication. Call it old school, but this is a tried and true method of saying thank you. Your donors will appreciate the extra time and effort you took to put together a physical piece of mail, and then they will also have a physical token to proudly display.

 

Social media shoutouts

While this is certainly less personalized than an email or thank you letter, social media is another great avenue for thanking your donors. Social media provides the perfect forum for reaching a wide audience. Amplify your reach and let your appreciation go viral in the social media world! If you want to make your donor feel special, create a customized post like this one from Fistula Foundation:

thanking your donors on twitter

This personalized shoutout on behalf of your organization gives each individual donor his or her time in the spotlight as a token of appreciation.

 

Website shoutouts

Similar to social media, your website is a great avenue for thanking your donors. If you have a donors/partners/stewardship page, use it to publicly display the names and logos of those who gave. For example, Apraxia-KIDS made their own 2016 #GivingTuesday sponsors page and included shoutouts to their matching gift sponsors:2016 giving tuesday matching gift sponsors


Whatever you do, make it thoughtful and heartfelt. Keep in mind that this is just the beginning of a new relationship with your donor. Treat it with care, nurturing, and appreciation, and you'll be amazed with what next year's fundraising campaign can look like!


 

Stefanie Pous

Stefanie Pous

Stefanie Pous is the Communications and Partnerships Manager at Elevation, a full-service nonprofit web design agency. Passionate about nonprofits, marketing, and technology, she is excited to be working at their crossroads. Outside of the office, Stefanie can be found doing yoga, cooking, and exploring new cities.

How to Increase your Online Donation Guide

Graphic Download Now

Stay Updated