Since 2012, #GivingTuesday has done more than raise millions of dollars each year. It has given nonprofits a powerful vehicle to increase awareness of their causes, establish new connections, and inspire millions of people to make regular giving a part of their lives.
If your nonprofit is hard at work rolling out its #GivingTuesday campaign, then you’re probably also thinking ahead about thanking donors. In fact, you might be planning a different sort of campaign to begin the day after #GivingTuesday: a campaign of donor appreciation.
Without donors, the #GivingTuesday movement wouldn’t be possible, so properly thanking them is crucial. Check out these five ways you can make your #GivingTuesday donors feel like their contributions made a difference.
Send Thank You Notes
Snail-mailing personalized, handwritten thank you notes is an old-fashioned but effective way to thank your donors. If the number of donors makes handwritten thank you notes impractical, send personalized emails to donors who gave under a certain amount, and hand-write thank you notes to those who gave above a certain amount.
You could also enlist the help of your volunteer force in this task. Their assistance could help you carry out a sign of appreciation that goes a long way.
Shout Out on Social Media
Utilizing the power of social media is an effective way to express gratitude. You can even start on #GivingTuesday itself. If you have a live event, provide a makeshift photo booth where donors can get their pictures taken, holding up a sign with a personal expression of support. Create a slideshow of these images with captions of thanks, set it to music, and post it to your Facebook page.
Also, post the results of your fundraising with sincere statements of gratitude on all of your social media channels, so that donors know what they made happen.
Dedicate a Newsletter to #GivingTuesday
Plan to have an edition of your newsletter go out during the month of December, so that recipients can read about the details of your #GivingTuesday campaign. This newsletter should provide attractive infographics that highlight the campaign’s results, photos that depict volunteers and donors engaging in campaign events, and feature articles describing some of the campaign’s great successes.
Be sure to dedicate at least one prominent space that thanks your donors for their generosity.
Put the Seal on New Donors
If yours becomes one of the many nonprofits to welcome new donors, plan to give them something more than a genuine thank you. New donors need to feel special; they engaged in your organization during a massive campaign, so you need to continue making them feel like they’re part of something important.
Keep track of new #GivingTuesday donors, and thank them specially with a series of tailor-made emails that introduce them to the people and features of your organization.
Engage Online Givers
If your organization offers online giving as an option to donate, your donors will likely be prompted to share that they donated with their social networks. When donors share this information and tag your organization or use your branded hashtag, comment with a sincere note of thanks. Make it stand out by indicating how their donation helped.
For example, if your organization helps feed the homeless, your comment could say, “Homeless families will eat because of you! Thank you!” This expresses thanks, plugs your cause, and might encourage others to give.
The most important thing to remember when thanking donors is that gratitude should be expressed in a way that thanks them for their generosity now and lays the groundwork for more donations later.