The power behind a ‘Thank You’

For nonprofits, it's important to thank donors and staff members at all times.
Date Published
12/15/2014

Nonprofit fundraising is about more than asking constituents to support a cause financially. In actuality, this process has just as much to do with relationship building than soliciting individuals to donate money. For 501(c)(3) organizations, a simple gesture such as thanking someone for their contribution can go a long way.

The real purpose of nonprofit fundraising is not to secure a one-time gift, but to partner with people in a way that encourages them to continue giving long after they’ve made their first donations. This helps insure that a charitable organization will always be able to meet its goals and achieve mission.

It seems like a no-brainer for a nonprofit to thank constituents after they offer their financial support. However, there are a number of strategies in this area that can demonstrate a higher level of appreciation while simultaneously making an individual feel compelled to give whenever they are able to do so.

Nonprofit Marketing Guide listed a number of approaches that charities can take in this area. Here are some ideas that charitable organizations may find useful:

  • Recording a thank-you video: With technology advancing the way that it is today, many people are more receptive to visual imagery as opposed to having to read information. Nonprofit leaders should consider video messaging thanks constituents for their contributions. This serves a dual purpose. For one, it shows that there is an appreciation on the part of the leadership within a nonprofit organization. Secondly, an individual being thanked in a way that has been personalized specifically for them will lead to a much deeper level of loyalty and encourage them to lend their financial support on a regular basis.
  • Using behind-the-scenes imagery: Many contributors love to know how their donations are being used by the nonprofits they support. When thanking them, charities should use images that depict the areas where a contributor’s financial support has had the most impact. Before-and-after photos are a great way to convey this information, as well as a thank-you message that lets people know that without their support, this kind of progress could not be realized.

Don’t forget about the staff
Like most companies, a nonprofit will only be as strong as the quality of its workforce. These are the people who are on the ground working in close concert with constituents, keeping track of financial solvency of the organization using donation management software and helping the organization stay afloat. As a result, Blog Notions wrote that in addition to thanking constituents, nonprofit employees need to feel that they are appreciated. Unfortunately, this is not a common practice.

The website stated that 64 percent of nonprofit personnel feel that they receive a general lack of recognition for the roles they play in the overall success of the organization. This is a dangerous precedent to set, particularly in an industry where one-on-one human interaction is a critical part of the job.

It’s important to always recognize workers for a job well done, no matter how small. Showing appreciation will encourage individuals to do more to receive positive affirmations from their superiors. Everyone wants to be acknowledged for doing a good job, and for those who are seen as leaders within a charitable organization, this is something that should never be taken for granted.

Whether thanking constituents or employees, it’s important to remember the value of kind words and the fact that they can go a long way in delivering positive results down the road. Nonprofits should make both their constituents and internal staff members feel appreciated for their support. 

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