The good ole “thank you” – two very simple, yet incredibly powerful words.
Thanking donors is a crucial part of strengthening donor relationships. It also goes a long way in impacting donor retention, increasing the lifetime value of donors, and improving how donors feel about supporting your cause.
But to help improve donor satisfaction, you need to think beyond using just those two words. Giving follow-ups some extra thought can mean the difference in building donor loyalty or losing them for good.
Before we jump ahead, check out these interesting facts:
- According to Spokes for Nonprofits, donors are more likely to give to your organization again after they received an average of three “thank you” responses.
- Penelope Burk’s book Donor-Centered Fundraising, found that 85% of participants would donate again if they received a personal thank you.
That sounds like proof that something as simple as a thank you letter can help keep donor retention rates up. What do you think?
So, where do you start when it comes to putting together the best donation thank you letter? Below are three very critical components to help express sincere appreciation and turn one-time donors to life-long supporters.
Make it Memorable
Sending an acknowledgement with no personal touch can be a big miss for your organization.
You might be thinking, “Personal touches are great, but I don’t have the time or data to get personal with my messaging and strategy.” Okay, you have a point there. This is why it’s so important to have a single source of truth when it comes to your donor data. Incomplete or inaccurate data can be a huge roadblock to not only delivering personal acknowledgements, but to all of your messages.
Now, do you see why you need a full picture of your donors? This would really help take your communications to the next level and make them memorable.
Speak to the Impact
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to spot a generic thank you. And a generic thank you isn’t going to make your donors feel warm-fuzzy for supporting your mission. In fact, it may be received as a turn-OFF.
Showing sincere gratitude comes from making people feel like they’ve made a difference and acknowledging the value of their support by focusing on the impact rather than the gift amount.
Donors want to feel good about their decision to give. If you want to encourage donors to keep giving, they need to know they are appreciated and understand how their contribution is helping.
Here’s your chance to provide them with stories or photos of how their gifts are helping; this will improve the donor experience! However, please don’t use the same impact stories or photos that have been used in other promotional materials – that most definitely will not come across as a genuine form of appreciation. Connect their donation to work that your organization is currently doing – give them the inside scoop!
And don’t think this has to be done one-off. The beauty of having a comprehensive, un-siloed database is that you can use it to effectively segment your donors – especially those in lower-giving populations – so that you can generate personalized and meaningful thank you letters easily and efficiently.
Grow Your Connection
Keep your donors engaged and offer them opportunities to learn more about your organization. Also, include links to your social media accounts, mention upcoming events, and provide them with contact information. Be careful not to overwhelm them though with too much. Keep it short, sweet, and sincere – after all, all you’re looking to do right now is convey gratitude.
A Final Note
It seems obvious, right? To thank your donors. Shockingly, 70% of nonprofits don’t send a follow-up thank-you to their donors within 30 days of the donation. 37% of nonprofits don’t send a follow-up thank-you to their donors at all.
Yes, you very much appreciate each and every donation. But are you showing that same love to your donors?
Gratitude is powerful. In fact, research has shown that first-time donors who receive a personal thank-you within 48 hours are four times more likely to give again. Don’t miss this opportunity to get more donations!
For the easiest way to get started with sending proper thank-you letters, again, you need a panoramic view of your supporters and the ways they’ve interacted with you – giving and otherwise.
Contact us to learn more about connecting all the dots of your donor data.
In case you missed it, check out our guides and discover how you can grab the attention of supporters, create a meaningful experience, and foster long-term donor relationships.
Stacy Caponetti is a Marketing Manager for Omatic Software where she is responsible for monitoring industry and technology trends to help deliver value-based content for nonprofit organizations.