As fundraisers and experts in delighting donors, we're always looking for a few more opportunities to shower donors with gratitude. Yes, you send them a thank-you letter after every donation. And maybe you even have a special stewardship touchpoint during the holiday season, too, but there are other seasonal opportunities to give donors a little out-of-the-blue gratitude that puts a smile on their face and warms their heart, like Mother’s Day, UN's Global Day of Parents (June 1), Father’s Day, or any day you want to recognize parental figures.
Recognizing and appreciating donors doesn’t have to be limited to just their philanthropy. Showing them that you care about them beyond their donor personas broadens your nonprofit’s opportunities for donor stewardship. After all, donors are people too! They have life events and milestones to celebrate, and your nonprofit can celebrate with them. Mother’s Day, Global Day of Parents, and Father’s Day are perfect opportunities to recognize the other roles donors have in life and send a little extra love their way. Read on for our list of delightful donor stewardship ideas to celebrate parents on Mother’s Day, Global Day of Parents, and Father’s Day.
Keep in mind:
- Parental figures may not be "Mom" or "Dad". There are lots of family members—grannies, uncles, siblings, for instance—who would appreciate the acknowledgement without the title.
- Parents come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders. Consider instituting your own Parents' Day where you celebrate all parents without focusing on gender or role. A great example is Gender Expansive Parents’ Day, designated on December 6, 2020, in North Carolina.
- Any parent-focused day can be painful for those parents who have experienced a child's death or who've struggled to become parents. Knowing your donors goes a long way when grief is involved.
Mother’s Day Donor Stewardship Ideas
Mother’s Day in the United States is the second Sunday in May. It offers a great opportunity to shower moms and mother figures in your donor file with a little extra appreciation.
Send a Heartfelt Card
Receiving snail mail is always fun! Your organization can buy some Mother’s Day cards and add in a handwritten note sending along your wishes for the day.
Not sure what to write in the card? Here are a few ideas:
- Moms are the real changemakers in our books. Wishing you a happy Mother's Day!
- Parents like you are leading by example and shaping the next generation of change makers. Thank you for supporting our mission. Have a wonderful Mother's Day!
- You do so much good in the local community. Thank you for being a donor. Sending our wishes for a happy Mother’s Day.
Deliver a Plant
We love the idea of a stewardship gift that donors can enjoy year-round. Flowers are a super popular gift for Mother’s Day, but they don’t last forever. If you’re looking for a physical gift for donors, consider gifting them a potted plant from a local nursery or flower grower. Step up the creativity by having staff, volunteers, or program participants decorate the pots. The added bonus of this kind of stewardship touchpoint is that you’ll be able to get in an extra visit with donors.
Global Day of Parents and Gender Expansive Parents’ Day Donor Stewardship Ideas
Global Day of Parents is a UN-designated day set on June 1 to recognize the critical role of parents. International Non-Binary Day is July 14—halfway between International Women's Day and International Men's Day. And as of December 6, 2020, Gender Expansive Parents' Day officially recognizes parents who identify neither as a mother nor a father. Any (or all!) of these days give your nonprofit an opportunity to celebrate your donors in a broader way instead of boxing them into narrow "mother" or "father" titles.
Host an Appreciation Event
Donor appreciation events that are tied to seasonal happenings are a great way to gather donors and cultivate relationships. For non-binary parents or parental figures, we love the idea of hosting a brunch with delicious savory and sweet dishes. Pull out all the stops to make non-binary parents and parental figures feel special and appreciated during the event. It’s the little touches that will make it a memorable experience for donors.
Design a Card
Sending a card for Parents' Day is an easy way to appreciate donors who are parents, but make this a one-of-a-kind design to truly celebrate non-binary parents or parental figures who don't normally have cards that recognize them for who they are separate from mothers and fathers.
If you don't have an internal designer, there are lots of great cards on platforms like Etsy, with designers who would be thrilled to make this card for your org. If possible, get a designer who understands the significance and pay them to create your unique design. Another benefit of designing your own Parents' Day card is that you can tie in the graphics and copy to your nonprofit’s mission. Not necessary, but file it under “nice to have.”
Here’re a few ideas for handwritten notes to add to your Parents' Day cards:
- You’re the reason the world spins in the right direction. Thank you for supporting our organization. We hope you have a great Parents' Day!
- Parents like you are one-in-a-million. We feel a million times grateful to count you as one of our donors.
- You’re a role model for your kids and a role model for the community. Thank you for your support! Happy Parents' Day!
Father’s Day Donor Stewardship Ideas
Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in the US and provides your nonprofit with an extra opportunity to strengthen donor relations with parents.
Say Thanks on Social
This stewardship idea may not be as personal as sending a card, but it’s still a fun way to get your message across to donors who are dads. Use your social media platforms to wish dads a happy Father’s Day. Create a fun graphic, whip up some clever copy, and you’re good to go.
Saying thank you on social is also a great opportunity for storytelling. Identify a few donors who are dads and set up interviews with them. Find out why they like to donate to your nonprofit and tell their stories. You can share these stories across your social channels and in email, too.
Host a BBQ Appreciation Event
Father’s Day is all about breaking out the BBQ for some family time. If your nonprofit wants to host an appreciation event for Father’s Day, make it a BBQ! This is a relatively easy event to cater or make food for. You’ll want to have a great venue that will allow donors to relax. While you won’t want to inundate guests with speech after speech, you will want to find at least one great speaker who can thank donors and speak to the theme of Father’s Day.