How to Say Thank You to Your Donors

December 5, 2016
5 minutes

As a nonprofit, your lifeblood is the money donors provide you with to run your campaigns. This is why you need to make sure donor retention is a top priority.

The nonprofit arena is competitive when it comes to vying for the same pot of donor money. This is why you need to nurture your donor relationships and do what you can to keep them as donors for a long time to come. If you are unable to hold onto your first-time donors, you will join other nonprofits and lose 77% of your donors after your first event. 

With stats like that, you need to craft a strategy for holding onto your donors. Here are some great ways to keep your donor retention high and say Thank You to your donors.

Ways to Thank Your Nonprofit Donors

There are several ways to thank your nonprofit donors. In order to retain donors, you need to reach out to them and keep a relationship going. Thankfully, you have several methods at your disposal to keep those relationships strong.

Send a Thank You Letter

Sending a Thank You letter is the classic method nonprofits have used to hold onto their donors. Expressing your gratitude for their generous support shows your donors that you are not just taking their money and ignoring them. This letter establishes your humanity and shows that you can be trusted. 

By sending a donor Thank You letter, you demonstrate that you will put their money to good use for a good cause. When sending a Thank You letter, be quick to do so after a donor gives money to your cause. Make it a personal Thank You to show you took time to address them on an individual level. 

Showcase Donors on Your Website

Your nonprofit's website gets a good deal of traffic from potential donors who want to see what your campaigns are. This is a great place to show your gratitude for the donors supporting your causes. You can either display all of the donors in an area on the main page or have a special section on another page, exclusively acknowledging the generous support of all your donors. 

You can show your appreciation for the time, effort, and support these donors provided your nonprofit. Doing this can increase the loyalty of existing donors and entice potential donors to support your causes.

Provide a Donor Welcome Package

After a donor financially supports your nonprofit, you can send them a special welcome package. This would include education material about your nonprofit and what its mission is. Deliver a message about how your nonprofit is making a difference somehow in the world. This welcome package can also include a personal Thank You to the donor, along with swag like t-shirts and tote bags.

Create a Thank You Video

People respond really well to videos. It offers a more emotive way of expressing gratitude than a letter or package can. When your nonprofit puts together passionate dialogue, captivating visuals, and powerful music, you can create a Thank You video speaking to all of your supporters. 

A short video under five minutes long can also be a public promotional tool where others see the work you have been doing and the recognition your donors receive. 

Send Subsequent Handwritten Thank You Notes

Sending a Thank You letter after a first-time donor makes a donation is a great way to keep a relationship going with a donor. However, for subsequent correspondences with your donors, sending a handwritten note is a more meaningful way to recognize them.

Some of the situations which can call for a handwritten note are the following:

  • When your first-time donors make a subsequent donation.
  • After a donor attends one of your events, such as a fundraising gala.
  • When the anniversary of a donor's donation arrives.
  • During the holidays.

You will want to mention why your donors contributed in the first place, to remind them of their commitment to your cause. You should also mention the importance that their contribution has on furthering your cause.

Harness the Power of Social Media

Social media is a great way to express your gratitude for donors of your nonprofit. Using the big three (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) to say Thank You to your donors can give them excitement to be recognized in such a public way to so many people.

Using social media to thank your donors also allows you to promote your nonprofit's mission and campaigns. Images have more impact and engagement than text-only posts, so make sure you use the power of visuals when you thank your donors on social media.

Make a Phone Call

When you make a phone call to thank donors, you are taking a very personal step that can strengthen your relationship with them. Your donors will trust you more when they see you have taken such a thoughtful step.

Get to know your donors when you engage with them. They will appreciate the considerate gesture and feel like a valuable asset to your nonprofit. Making a phone call can be intimidating. However, if you have a purpose behind the call, it is easier to do. You can take the opportunity to ask your donors some questions. 

You can ask them what they think about the way you are promoting your cause. You can also ask them what they like the most about your campaign. You can also use the opportunity to ask them for suggestions on how to do things differently, or if they think there is a better way of doing something.

Always Thank Your Donors

These are some of the donor recognition ideas you can start using today to show your gratitude and appreciation for your current donors. It takes very little time and effort, but will create a meaningful impression on your donors. Retaining donors is incredibly important in an arena where it is difficult to do so. By thanking your donors, you create long-lasting relationships that will continue to benefit your nonprofit and its causes.

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