As I write this in January, New Year’s is just past, and Martin Luther King Day is coming soon. If you’re a nonprofit, however, every day is Thanksgiving…or should be.
Yes, I know it’s only been weeks since your last appeal. You sent a thank-you letter to each donor back then. (In fact, maybe you sent the ideal thank-you letter.) But have you been ignoring them since then?
You neglect donors at your peril. Donors notice when and how often you’re in touch. If they say, “That organization only writes me when they want money!”, how likely are they to respond the next time?
Have you heard the rule that you should thank a donor seven times before asking him or her for money again? Maybe you wondered how in the world you’re supposed to do that. How many ways can you say thank you?
Here are 20 creative ideas for showing your gratitude, courtesy of our friends at Lifehack.
- Make a gift bag. It doesn’t have to be expensive–just personal.
- Give a toast. You don’t need a special event–you could do this over lunch. Make a video and send it to the donor. Picture the smile when they see it!
- Write a poem. Say why they deserve your thanks.
- Send them custom gift labels.
- Give a gift card. (Get the gift card donated, too.)
- Send a hand-written letter.
- Use social media to give thanks in public.
- Make your own digital greeting card.
- Make a Youtube video.
- Bake cookies.
- Make surprise gifts for guests at your events.
- Put together a flower basket.
- Take a picture. Again, it doesn’t have to be professional, just unique. The camera on your phone can capture priceless moments!
- Pay it forward. Show them you care about what they care about too.
- Do something special for them.
- Help them when they’re the ones who need help.
- Be there for them.
- Listen to them.
- Say it another language…especially if they speak it.
- Show them some #donorlove, without being asked.
You can’t do all twenty for all your donors. Fine. But which ones can you do?
Make a plan to say thank you to as many of your donors as you can, each month. When annual appeal time comes around again, they’ll think of you as a friend.