We all know the active support of donors is crucial to your Kingdom work, but sometimes we need the reminder to be intentional in honoring them. Offering recognition and appreciation to your donors is important in retaining their trust and loyalty to your organization’s mission.
There are numerous ways to say “thank you,” but whether large or small, expressing your gratitude should feel meaningful and genuine. Including personal stories will invite the donor to see themselves as a vital part of your ministry.
Whether your plan needs a refresh or you are getting started, use these ideas of ways to acknowledge your donors while continuing to connect them to the heartbeat of your mission:
1. A Thank You Letter
There is no limit to the impact of a simple thank you letter, especially one that is signed personally. In your letter, include a personal story of how their donation is making a difference. This will invite the donor to see themselves as a part of your mission and encourage the likelihood of future gifts.
Tip: Set a timeframe to determine when you send thank you notes after receiving a gift so you do not forget to send your message.
2. Website Appreciation
Consider developing a stewardship section on your website recognizing both one-time donors and recurring donors. This reaches an even broader audience and shows your appreciation for those who give to your organization. You can highlight stories on this page that represent the impact your organization is making.
Tip: Make sure this message reflects impact more than dollar amounts. Every donor is valuable when it comes to accomplishing your work.
Creating a 2-5 minute video is a quick, meaningful way to engage and thank your donors. By embedding the video into a thank-you email, you can personally thank your donors while showing them the people impacted by their donations. Not only will this connect personally with your donors, but the video can also be promoted through social media to attract future supporters.
Tip: You can keep this simple. Make a slideshow of photos and add in a key story or a few statistics that illustrate what you have accomplished. Be sure to add a clear call to action.
4. Host an Appreciation Event
Hosting an appreciation event is an excellent way to interact with your donors and bring them closer to your mission. Instead of asking for donations, offer them an experience where they are the focus. The goal should be to make them feel connected to your ministry and see their place with you. This should be a relaxed, fun social event that is light and fun while celebrating the success stories and impact of your mission.
Tip: A successful event looks different for each group. For some, it may be a smaller, more intimate gathering, and for others, it may be a much broader gathering. Determine what you and your donors should gain from this event and choose an event style that aligns with this.
5. Phone Calls
Hearing a live voice say “thank you” is one of the most effective ways to build a trusting relationship. Scheduling time for your team to thank donors over the phone is an excellent way to extend your appreciation to your donors. Including a quick story of how their support is making an impact will invite them to see themselves as a part of your organization.
Tip: Commit to developing a communication calendar for your year-end that includes thank you’s, follow up calls, and scheduled meetings. These efforts should extend beyond December 31st as they help bolster your reach for the next year.
Whether large or small, every donor matters and every thank you matters. Continuing the cycle of gratitude and generosity will serve both your ministry and your donors.
Need more help in working with your donors? Make sure to join The Signatry’s Ministry Services community group.