Thu, December 26 2013

10 ways to thank your donors

Liz Ragland's avatar

Marketing Content Associate, Network for Good

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

Thank You Road Sign
Image credit: flickr member nateOne

After the busy nonprofit year-end giving season comes the often overlooked nonprofit thank you season. Remember to give thanks for donations early and often. Showing constant, authentic appreciation for your donors (new and old) is crucial for retaining supporters. Need to breathe some new life into your donor gratitude plan? Here are ten thank you ideas to inspire you in the new year.

1. Always send a thank you (and tax deductible information) within 48 hours of receiving a donation. Many online giving tools such as DonateNow automatically generate a donor receipt, but be sure to tailor or add a thank you message to the receipt. Then, follow up with a more personalized

2. Send a birthday card to donors and remind them that they are important to the work your organization accomplishes.

3. Have your board members personally call donors to say thanks. I recently did this as a board member for my alma mater’s alumni association. Out of the 25 people I called, only one person had received a thank you phone call from an organization before.

4. Ask those who directly benefit from donations to write a handwritten note of thanks. Animal organizations could try letting their clients express their thanks to donors with a special piece of artwork.

5. Create a YouTube video to thank donors when you reach a campaign goal. A great example of this are charity: water’s 5th birthday thank you videos.

6. Have some exciting news to share? Send a special announcement to donors with images and a big bold note to thank them for making the accomplishment possible.

7. Invite donors to a thank you reception. You’ll not only show your appreciation, but you’ll get face time with your donors and have the opportunity to learn more about why they support your organization.

8. Many organizations send thank you cards and year-end appeals during the November/December holiday season. Don’t overlook other holidays as occasions to express your love and thanks.

9. Dedicate social media shout outs to thank and recognize donors.

10. Send donors a top ten list of accomplishments for the year to demonstrate how donations make an impact (and then make it clear that without their support, you wouldn’t have a top ten list).

Donors are your organization’s superheroes. Saying thanks and reminding them of their VIP status should be at the top of your to do list in 2014. What are your favorite ways to thank donors? Share your ideas in the comments.

  • Comment: (3)   


These are definitely great ways to thank a donor. I’m going to post this on a few nonprofit org websites. I’m sure they’d love to see this list.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/26  at  03:46 PM

Based on this article, we devoted our weekly e-newsletter (sent out on Dec. 31)to thanking our donors. You can see it here:

Posted by Sherry Kirschenbaum  on  01/02  at  03:04 PM

Love the ideas presented here. I have experienced a few in action, and as someone who donates, I am partial to any sort of personal contact from orgs (thank you cards, phone calls, artwork from children if a children’s charity, general information about events). Its all time consuming that’s for sure, so if you can find someone in your org that can be dedicated to donor recognition, it will go a long way. I am a virtual assistant who specializes in NPOs and would love to take on this task.

Posted by Donna Rondeau  on  01/20  at  12:34 PM

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