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Nonprofit Leaders 4min read

Share the Love: 10 Creative Ways to Thank Your Donors

Gratitude is a time-honored tradition. And while the art of the thank-you note seems to be going the way of the do-do bird, thanking your supporters is still of paramount importance if you want them to make more nonprofit donations in the future. (And what organization doesn’t want repeat gifts?)

With these 10 simple, creative thank you options, you can share the love and make your supporters feel more appreciated than ever.

1. Send a Follow-Up Email

Cheaper and faster than sending snail mail, a well-written, timely e-mail can be equally effective.

Address the donor by name and tell him or her why you are grateful for their gift. Also, let them  know how their financial support will impact the work you’re doing.

2. Schedule an Event

Every event you plan doesn’t need to be a fundraiser. To demonstrate your appreciation for your donors, consider hosting a thank-you event just for them. The options are endless; you could invite donors to a banquet in their honor, or even host something more casual at a local park.

Don’t ask for anything — just take a moment to recognize the individuals who make nonprofit donations to support your cause.

3. Show Your Gratitude on Social Media

While you may not want to single out a donor publicly, it is a good idea to share regular, generalized gratitude toward your supporters.

As often as you use social media to ask for donations, you should be ready to offer thanks. You really couldn’t do it without them!

4. Spotlight Donors on Your Website or Social Media

With the donor’s permission, craft a donor spotlight that enables them to share information about why they support your nonprofit. Highlight the donor’s other interests and tell their story.

People are influenced by other people. When others see why this individual supports your cause, they will be more likely to join in by making their own nonprofit donations.

5. Sign a Postcard

Especially during a fundraiser or campaign, send a personalized postcard to donors who give. Use a photo from your nonprofit or campaign and write a heartfelt message of thanks.

Snail mail may be old-fashioned, but people still love receiving physical mail. Your supporters will love finding a thank-you note in their mailbox.

6. Simplify a Gift Matrix

Donors who give X dollars receive a note of thanks, for instance, while donors who give X (more) dollars receive a small gift. Perhaps donors who nonprofit donations of X dollars — in the highest tier — receive a phone call or a customized item that they will want to display.

Basically, give back. Show your appreciation by actually rewarding donors for their support.

7. Film an Appreciation Video

Go live on Facebook or post a video to your website, personally thanking donors — face to face — for their nonprofit donations. Real people enjoy engaging with real people, and appearing on camera makes your organization feel more personal.

Tell your donors why they matter and what their gifts are doing to make the world a better place. They will feel emotionally connected to your cause, which will deepen the relationship and make them more loyal supporters.

8. Send Birthday or Anniversary Cards

If you are able to collect important dates from your donors, use them as opportunities to make personal contact and show appreciation.

Not only will it be unexpected, but it will make the donor feel noticed and valued. Have your team sign the cards to add a personal touch.

9. Share. Share. Share.

Share progress. Share news. Share wins. Make sure your donors feel like they are active participants in the success of your nonprofit.

Keep them up to date on current events and the work you are doing, so they feel connected to your cause on a regular basis.

10. Make Nonprofit Donations Easier

Want to really show your supporters that you appreciate their nonprofit donations? Keep improving upon your technology offerings and making the experience better for them. Add a mobile giving option so they can give with their smartphone. Add online giving to your website, so they don’t have to attend a fundraiser in order to donate. By taking their needs into account, you show how much you truly care about and appreciate them.

Donors want to know that they (and not just their money) matter to your organization. It may seem obvious, but sometimes a simple “thank you” goes unsaid and could make a major difference. Regardless of how you communicate it, just be sure you do.

About the Author

Allison has a passion for charitable giving and believes that small acts of kindness can make the world a better place. She uses her web content and social media expertise to guide churches and nonprofits through the mobile fundraising process.

Allison Weaver