The importance of thanking donors for their contributions

A carefully crafted
Date Published
07/01/2014

Donor management software is a great way for charities and other organizations to track the number of people making contributions and the dollar amounts that they give. But it can also be used to show appreciation for their benevolence as well. One of the simplest and easiest ways this can be done is through the crafting of a “Thank You” letter. This may seem like an action that falls under the common sense category, but it’s vitally important to any nonprofits fundraising efforts to thank donors for their giving.

If done properly, showing gratitude can not only help increase donor loyalty to a nonprofit that supports a specific cause, but it can also lead to increased donations as well.

How to create a “Thank You” letter
NPEngage lists some helpful tips that demonstrate donor appreciation in the form of a letter, but one of the best is to reiterate why their contribution is important. The website suggests in addition to thanking them, it’s also important to highlight how their money will be used.

This approach creates organizational transparency and builds donor confidence. The website states that in an ideal world, this communication should come from the person appointed to the highest leadership role within an organization, such as the program director or CEO. This lends itself to contributors feeling as if they are valued while also potentially creating an affinity for the organization on the part of the donor.

Another suggestion from NPEngage is not to making a “Thank You” letter just a onetime thing. Creating a series is a way to create a higher level of engagement between the organization and the donor. This can be done in two or three parts, but one of the key points to remember on any follow-up of this kind is to include a call to action. Whether encouraging a deeper level of donor involvement or inviting them to learn more about the charity or the specific program, staying in touch with donors through communication of this kind helps to foster a stronger relationship with the giver.

The value of a compelling story
While a “Thank You” letter is a great fundraising tool that any nonprofit can use, a story that connects with people into on an emotional level is even more effective when used to thank donors for their contributions.

In a separate article from NPEngage, the website lists a number of ways to integrate storytelling as a way to strengthen nonprofit fundraising. Some helpful tips include sending a postcard that begins with an anecdote of some kind and including the link to a website that people can visit if they want to hear the rest.

This is a great way to tap into the emotions of donors and if the website link includes a portal that allows someone to contribute more, that plays to an organization’s advantage. Another suggestion is connecting with donors over the phone to communicate your organization’s story that way.

Sending information through the mail is useful and so is steering people to an important website. But it’s important to never forget the value of personal interaction. In many cases, donors like to actually hear from the organization that they’ve made a charitable contribution to. This is a great way to personalize the giving experience and this action could go a long way in securing repeat donors who may also be encouraged to give more than they did initially.

Fundraising isn’t an easy task, but there are ways to make it more effective. Following some of the tips that are outlined here can make a world of difference in your organization’s efforts.

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