Donors and cause supporters are vital to the advocacy of a nonprofit. Despite reasons being varied, they give their time, advice, and financial resources to support the mission of making the world a better place. Some feel a moral obligation to help while others feel connected to a movement and are happy to lend a hand. Nonprofits should always show their appreciation to donors if the organization wants to keep receiving support. Unfortunately, the donor retention rate is low at an average of 45%, meaning almost half don’t make a repeat gift. Most shared that it was because of a lack of communication on the part of the nonprofit, either to report where the money was used or to update them on the latest activities.
Power of a thank you
Thanking donors is more than just good manners. Acknowledging and recognizing their support is a way of building relationships and connection with them. If donors feel valued, they will be encouraged to continue their involvement, which can greatly help the operations of the nonprofit. It is also better to have consistent long-term support rather than keep looking for new donors indefinitely. Balancing limited resources is not an excuse to forget to thank your donors. These people can easily shift their attention to another nonprofit or charity that has a better cultivation and gratitude program. Here are some creative ways you can use to thank your donors.
A grand gesture
Writing timely thank you notes and letters is the bare minimum in a donor cultivation program. Your donors would be thrilled if you can honor them in a big, creative way. Why not avail of ceiling projection mapping to showcase the organization’s impact for the next charity ball or raffle a roundtrip vacation to India? Appreciation and recognition complement each other well.
Send a welcome packet
Making new donors feel welcomed the moment they decided to support your advocacy can go a long way. Sending a welcome packet within two weeks after their first gift can educate them about the background and activities of your nonprofit while showing you are happy to have them on board. Photos of beneficiaries, heart-warming stories, and a little token like a bookmark or sticker are great ways to welcome new supporters into the fold.
Sometimes emotions and gratitude can be lost in translation in written collateral. Using video can be a powerful tool in conveying a message to capture the imagination through music, images, and heartfelt dialogue. One can see the impact done to the beneficiaries through video. A short three-to-five-minute video is effective in recognizing the hard work of your donors and is easily shareable in social media.
Personalized interactions through discovery questions
Every donor has their preferences and interests. It is in the nonprofit’s interest to get to know their donors and create a detailed profile for each person. Every interaction is an opportunity to strengthen relationships and retain their support continuously. If your donor prefers email communication over calls, don’t bombard their phones with voice messages. When they have an upcoming trip, ask them how it went the next time you speak.
Donor cultivation and engagement is a critical process in every nonprofit and should be given the time and resources it needs. Making your supporters feel like they’re part of something big and thanking them can go a long way in promoting your advocacy.