Donor appreciation is a part of every nonprofit organization. No gift is too small to be unappreciated; in fact, donor appreciation is a major part of leadership and being a good steward to your organization. That said, many small and medium size groups simply do not have the resources for large donor recognition events. Here are some simple and easy ways to say “Thank you” to your donors.
An email may seem the least personal way to thank a donor. However, there are some very redeeming qualities of an email that keep it in our quiver of donor appreciation options. Email is a great way to explain details of projects or rather a way to show exactly where their donation is going and how the donation is making an impact.
Donor of the Month
Set up a “Donor of the Month” program and highlight a donor in communications. This could be a page on your website, a section of your newsletter or a page in your annual report. Consider why you are highlighting this donor. Is this an appropriate time to profile this donor? What do you aim to achieve by sharing this donor’s story?
Events are a great way to thank donors. You could take a few minutes at an event to have the Board President or other leader name donors and give a heartfelt “thank you”. On the other hand, you could host a separate Donor Appreciation event simply for your donors. A great time for a celebration is at year-end or when you have reached a goal. Let donors and staff celebrate their success together. This could be as simple as a pizza party or an ice-cream social. Make sure to kick-off the party with a short speech that details how important donors are to your accomplishments.
Offer your donors a specific benefit. What can you offer that comes at little or no cost to your organization? If you are an arts organization, can you let donors purchase performance tickets before the general public? Is there a small merchandise item, like a coffee cup, that you can give away once a donor reaches a threshold of say $100? These gestures may seem small, but will not go unnoticed.
There are many ways you can thank donors. These are just a few ways to do it. Keep in mind that any size donation is worth sincere appreciation and any contact with a donor is an opportunity to build upon that relationship.