Saying Thank You

Philip Manzano • Oct 12, 2016

It’s so important to keep saying thank you. Here are some of the best ways we’ve learned how. The post Saying Thank You appeared first on Keela.

Guest Author: Jen Sguigna,

Juno Beach Foundation

Do you do gratitude? 

I do, and you should too, if you’re not already. When it comes to donor relations, saying “Thank you!” is just as important as the initial ask , if not more so.

Letting your donors know their support is appreciated is vital, especially if your organization relies heavily on private donations. Depending on the size of your staff and how many donations you receive, you can do gratitude in a number of ways.

Why should you say thank you?

Appreciation: Saying thank you shows your donors that you appreciate what they do as much as they believe in what you do. Recognize the good they do, as their donation had recognized the good you do. People like to be appreciated!

Interaction: Donor interaction is good. Saying thank-you can continue a conversation, or start a brand new one. This gives you the chance to tell them about new programming, talk about the cause, and hopefully increase your likelihood of retaining the donor.

Accountability: By acknowledging the donation and thanking them for it, you’re creating the impression of accountability. Even if you don’t report on where their money has gone, you’re letting them know that it’s been received, that you were happy to receive it, and that has contributed to the cause. 

How should you say thank you?

Anyway you can manage, really. If you’re the only – or one of very few – staff member at your organization, the addition of yet another task to your very busy day can seem daunting. But it doesn’t need to be. You can make it part of your regular donation processing, or set aside time for it. 

If you receive a manageable amount of donations, then addressing each one with a personalized thank you note is an easy way to get the job done. You can buy blank cards, or have customized note cards done by a printing service. Then, simply follow up every donation with a standard, but handwritten, note. 

“Debbie,

Thank you so much for your donation to our charity! Your support helps us continue to engage youth in educational programming. 

Best Wishes,

Our Team”

Lick a stamp and stick it in the mail. Easy as pie.

If you have a larger donor base, setting aside a specific time every year may be a better option. If you have the staff or volunteers available, make lists and start cold-calling people – just to say “Thank you!” You’ll be met with scepticism at first, most people will expect you to follow-up by asking for something. In my experience though, donors are happy to hear from you. Often they simply mail in cheques or fill out online forms – they don’t get the chance to actually speak to a person who’s working for the cause they care about. A simple thank you call gives them the chance to ask about programming or the organization, and may even prompt another donation.

If calling isn’t practical, a thank you letter can do the trick, but a personalized one will do it better. They could be sent out with annual tax receipts or on their own – perhaps as holiday cards during the season. Either way, taking the extra time to do a mail merge so that everyone receives a letter with their own name does make a difference. If you know who the donor is and are able to personalize the letter further, then go for it. This doesn’t need to mean typing out 300 very similar letters. You can print 300 copies of the same letter, and take the time to sign them all individually with a note of recognition.

“Anne, 

Thanks again for your support! It was great to see you at our annual fundraiser and hope to see you again next year.

Thanks, 

Our team.”

Saying  “Thank You” doesn’t have to be a long or tiresome process. But it is a necessary one. 

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