Why is it so important to welcome new donors? The first time a person gives to your nonprofit, she is waiting to see how you will respond.
If you say thanks and then forget about her, she is likely to do the same to you.
In fact, she may even experience donor’s remorse, the philanthropy equivalent of buyer’s remorse: “Why did I give that money to that organization? What was I thinking?”
But if you thank her in multiple ways, she will know why she gave. And one of the best ways to say thank you is to recognize a first-time donor, as personally as you can, and to welcome her onboard.
Here’s a Great Example of a Welcome Packet
My wife and I recently made a first-time donation to BAGLY, the Boston Alliance of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Youth. Here are some of the ways they made us feel welcome, right from the start.
The envelope they sent the welcome packet in was more of a greeting card size than a business size. It had a live stamp. And someone had written our address and the return address by hand, in purple ink.
The letter inside called us by name. It said “Thank you for joining us,” recognizing the first-time gift. It told us about a new program our donation would help launch this year, to help LGBTQ+ youth avoid homelessness. And it offered us ways to get involved, from emailing the Director of Development to following them on TikTok.
As if that weren’t enough, the packet included:
- A personally written postcard that said “Welcome to the BAGLY family. Thank you for donating!”
- Another card specifying the mental health services the organization offers to LGBTQ+ youth.
- One of the best answers I’ve ever seen to “What does this organization actually do?” Look at the flyer below.
There is no chance that a donor who receives this welcome packet will ask, “Who is this organization again? Why did I give them money?”
Instead, they will say, “Wow, I knew they were worthwhile but I didn’t know all that about them! I’m glad I gave! Now, what’s this TikTok thing?”
What will first-time donors say to themselves about your nonprofit? Send them an excellent welcome packet to make sure it’s something great.