How to show donors your appreciation

Hand writing a thank you letter is a personal way of showing your appreciation to donors.
Date Published
10/08/2015

Fundraising is what keeps most nonprofits afloat, and your nonprofit needs to make sure donors feel appreciated. If donors don’t, they may choose to take their donations elsewhere. Failing to thank donors can cause them to feel slighted. They may also think their funds aren’t needed by the nonprofit, which isn’t true. Anyone who has provided a nonprofit with funds deserves to be thanked.  It is important that donors know how much their money is appreciated. Here are some ways your organization can show its gratitude:

Send out thank-you letters
According to GuideStar​’s blog, handwritten letters can add a personal touch to  donor communications. Donors will feel moved you took the time to sit down and actually write a letter. A handwritten note has a better chance of being displayed in the donor’s home instead of going straight to the recycling bin.

While a handwritten letter is a smart option, it can also take a considerable amount of time to write out several thank-you cards. Consider delegating this work to a volunteer or a lower-level employee.

Utilize newsletters
Sometimes recognizing donors in a public newsletter is the best way to thank them. Many donors would appreciate if their contribution was known by the public. The newsletter doesn’t need to focus on the donors. Instead, make the focal point the program, service or item the donations made possible. A short paragraph or about the donors’ importance will suffice.

Give them a call
A short, to-the-point phone call thanking donors for their contribution is another way to show donors how much they’re needed. When you make the call, ensure you have the donor’s information available so you know the amount of the contribution and what exactly those funds go toward. By telling donors how their money is being used, you help drive home the importance of their funds. This information can easily become jumbled or lost if you’re not using donor software. A nonprofit software solution that manages donor information is an integral part of donor management and can help tremendously when it comes to keeping data organized. 

Post blog posts showcasing what donors made possible
According to Nonprofit Hub, a nonprofit information site, it’s important to show donors the results of their donation. While showing donation usage in a newsletter is a successful way of doing this[specify], you can also put up an article or video on your blog highlighting new developments made possible by donors. You can even link to the blog post in your email newsletter. This gives you a few ways to show people how they’re appreciated, separate clauses and it gives you a reason to push them back to your site where they may choose to make another donation.

Hold a donor appreciation banquet dinner
If you don’t think the options listed above are enough to prove to donors how much they’re worth to your organization, consider holding a recognition dinner annually. If you feel it is necessary, your organization could also award contributors who make large contributions. This once a year dinner is a great way to get all donors in the same room so you can really show them why they are important.

While a banquet dinner is an annual sign of gratitude, other methods of appreciation should be performed more frequently. Make sure to send out a thank you of some kind as quickly as possible. A donor management software solution will help ensure you know who to thank when donations arrive. The more organized data is the easier it is to handle donor management and appreciation.

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