Did you know that nonprofits receive nearly 31% of annual gifts during the month of December each year? In fact, 12% of all giving occurs in the last three days of the calendar year. And, were you aware that donors are more likely to give to your nonprofit again after they have received an average of three “thank you” responses?”
With all that is happening during this busy season, it is easy to choose to wait a few weeks to thank a donor for a gift. Doing so, however, could be costly. In many ways, how you respond to the donation you receive tomorrow will determine if you receive another donation this time next year.
Fortunately, giving thanks can be fun and creative; it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. To help inspire you to give great gratitude, we have compiled a few helpful tips:
The Balance, a financial management resource website, outlines the fundamentals of donor stewardship including quick, personalized thank you responses. One great idea explains how to use a postscript to catch your donor’s eye and better convey your key message. Read all the details here.
The fundraising platform Classy suggests designing a “welcome package” for first time donors and broadcasting short testimonial videos to offer meaningful thanks to multiple donors. Read Classy’s “Top 15 Creative Ways to Thank Donors” for more details on these ideas and other quick and easy ways to thank donors through websites and cultivation events.
In addition, last week’s issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s article, “Do’s and Don’ts When Writing Donor Thank-You Letters by Timothy Sandoval includes the following suggestions:
1. Don’t send the same thank you letter to every donor. Donors will begin to catch on, ignore your letters, and the thanks you wish to express will begin to feel less sincere.
2. Keep your donor thank you letters short – no more than one paragraph, if possible.
3. Switch up your opening line. Most donor thank you letters start with “Thank you for your generous support…” Make your thank you letter stand out from other nonprofits by using an atypical opening statement that grabs your donor’s attention.
4. Embrace “snail mail.” As we become more and more overwhelmed with electronic communication, actual letters become rare – and appreciated.
5. Make sure someone prominent at your organization personally signs each letter.
We wish for your nonprofit lots and lots of opportunities to say “thank you” in the next few weeks. We hope these resources will offer you new strategies to do so more easily, meaningfully, and memorably!