Going Beyond the Thank-You for Donor Appreciation and Recognition


Are you helping to raise money for a good cause?

If so, you might believe your job is to raise funds but really your job is to be a “friend raiser”. Donors are indeed the “friends” of any charitable group or organization.

So here are five ideas on how to go beyond the standard “thank you” note to help ensure your donors keep giving:

Thanking your Donors

Do the math
Provide donors with a year summary of their contributions for tax purposes. Don’t wait until the donor asks for the information but instead make this summary a part of your annual correspondence to the donor.

Name your donors
Print the names of donors by name in newsletters, programs, committee reports, press releases. Some organizations do not do this for fear that one person might be overlooked. But consider this: Is it better to thank 50 people and miss one or is it better to leave 51 donors feeling their gift was not significant? It is good policy to ask donors if their names may be included in such publications.

Ask a Board member to send a personal thank you note
A handwritten card sent by one of the Board members will make send a loud message of appreciation to donors. Don’t skip the usual letter coming out from the staff though. This step is an “extra” thank you, not a replacement thank you.

Offer an privilege
Is your organization conducting an open house? Why not host an “advance” reception for donors? If you are planning a fundraising event, then offer your donors a discounted ticket. If you plan to have a rummage sale, invite donors to a preview sale. Give your donors a reason to know they are appreciated.

Make a visit
Go door-to-door with your donors. If your donor works locally, then consider making a brief visit to his or her office with a small gift. You might bring a coffee cup filled with candy with a thank you card attached or a recognition certificate. You’ll not only be thanking your donor but also providing an opportunity to give a message about your worthwhile cause to others. You’re also likely to hear firsthand about why the donor gives to the organization which can be valuable information to help you know why donors feel motivated to give to your organization.

Once you think “outside the box” and get outside the doors of your office, you’ll find that your appreciation of donors will generate both funds and friends for your good cause.

Categories Personal Finance

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