Thankfulness strengthens relationships, and it’s one of the most important and impactful types of donor communication. Demonstrating your appreciation shows that you value your donors and count them as an essential part of your team. Sending tailored thank you messages creates goodwill and makes donors more engaged with your organization. Let’s look at four ways to show how much you appreciate your supporters.
1) Get Personal
There’s no better way to show you value your donors as individuals than tailoring your messages so that they’re relevant to donor interests. Customize communications to monthly supporters and major donors even further, as integral partners of your team. Send a handwritten note from a board member or from someone in the community you serve. Use conversational language so donors can relate more easily.
2) Share Individual Stories
Put faces to the cause you serve by sharing the stories of those you’re helping. When donors can see precisely how their money was used to help someone, they’ll be more motivated to continue giving and engaging. Short vignettes, feature stories in your newsletters, and testimonials in the words of your community members themselves are all great ways to highlight the people that make up your mission.
3) Get Creative
Creativity lets donors know you put some extra energy and attention into your communications. Simple additions like including donor profiles in newsletters will make supporters feel appreciated. Brainstorm ways to personalize your emails further or to use new modes of communication. Create videos that showcase the work donors are helping to accomplish. (These videos can be shot on a smartphone—donors will value them even if they aren’t professionally produced.) Invite monthly donors to online meet-and-greet events with staff using Google Hangouts or Zoom. The possibilities for creative communications are endless.
4) Be Donor-Centric
You couldn’t do your work without your donors, so be sure they understand just how much you value them by putting them front and center. List the accomplishments they’ve achieved, make them the heroes who make your work possible. As you write your thank you letters, focus on the difference you are making together. Let them know that you view them as true partners in the work. Use “you” and “your” language and include the donor in “we” statements.
Incorporating these four tips into your communications will help your donors understand the depth of your appreciation and will make them feel like a true part of your team. Gratitude not only feels good, it also motivates people to take action, resulting in donors whose engagement grows over time.
Learn more about how to create customized donor communications that increase engagement by downloading Donor Communication Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All.