Abundant Appreciation: It Pays!
It’s a proven fact – if donors and sponsors feel like they’re making a difference, they will continue to support your org. Better yet, if they feel like YOU feel grateful – in other words, if they feel appreciated – they will give more in the future. To that end, shouldn’t you think beyond the obligatory (and rather boring) “At this time we’d like to thank our sponsors…” speech at the beginning or end of your live program? Think creatively about and innovate both your fundraising AND expressing gratitude. No doubt, you’re already sending “typical” thank-yous. Here are ways to go above and beyond in showing your donors the love.
From Thank You Cards to Donation Anniversary Cards
Naturally, you’re already sending hand-written thank-you notes to major donors and sponsors. But have you considered donation anniversary cards? Most everyone expects (at the very least) a thank-you note after the event. But think of what a fun, unexpected thing it would be for your donors to receive a note cheerfully announcing the one-year anniversary of their donation. What a lovely surprise that’s sure to keep the gratitude train on track for years to come!
From Social Shout-Outs to Event Night Scrapbooks
Now here’s an idea that’s perhaps best-suited to your older donors or those who you know are not readily on social media, and it’s a bit more labor-intensive. HOWEVER, not only will it be worth it, it’ll be a fun trip down event night memory lane for you, too! (Or assign it to another staff member or volunteer who was there and loves being crafty.) If you’re following our advice on how to connect with your donors using social media, you’ve already thanked them on your social outlets. And that’s great, since literally billions of people across the globe use social media. But to really put your love and appreciation into action, consider printing out inexpensive hard copies of a few fab photos and creating an event-night scrapbook. Plenty of donors didn’t grow up with social media and it’s likely they still enjoy flipping through photo albums now and then – why not present them with a tangible bit of memorabilia from the special night? Plenty of retailers will print out hard copies of pictures directly from your phone or from a thumb drive. Pop them in a small album and you have a lovely and emotionally-valuable gift to present to your major donors! If you believe this sounds like too much effort or expense, consider printing out just one meaningful picture from event night (and maybe even framing it) as a beloved momento.
From Pre-Event Receptions to Thank You Parties
Pre-event VIP receptions are a lovely way to show donors how grateful you are for them. Open your doors 30-60 minutes (or so) early, offer special drinks and nibbles and check them in personally. Even better – plan an event specifically to thank your donors where there is no ask or fundraising going on. Only don’t call it an event. Call it a party! Make sure guests are clear that they won’t be solicited and that it’s just a time to socialize in a relaxed environment. It’s donor development on steroids; they know you’re not expecting anything from them except their valuable company and conversation!
If you have the budget for a videographer, consider making a thank-you video. Take your gratitude to the next level by crafting a short and simple yet meaningful video, acknowledging your donors and sponsors. Video is powerful – more powerful than written notes and/or still pictures! We offer video production services – reach out for tips on how to create an impactful thank-you video.
Timing is everything. As we advised in what to do immediately following your event, jump on this right away! Don’t give you donors even the slightest chance to wonder why their generous donation hasn’t been acknowledged.
Meaningful thank-yous may take a little more time and effort but we guarantee it’ll pay off twofold – donors feel better about your org AND they’ll be far more likely to give GENEROUSLY in the future. Can you really afford to NOT thank them thoughtfully?! There are so many ways to show donors the love. And aren’t they OH SO deserving of it?! We have even more ideas – contact us today!