How to Graciously Thank Donors: Do’s and Don’ts to Leave a Positive Impression

A handwritten note thanking donors

Every successful non-profit organization thrives on the generous contributions of donors, and offering a personal thank you to each of them is not only a way to show your gratitude, but also to nurture long-lasting relationships with them as donors!

Taking the time to communicate your thanks will remind them they are appreciated and encourage them to continue to give to your organization. Here are a few important do’s and don’ts for thanking donors.

Do Get to Know Them

Look at this as a relationship-building opportunity — be friendly, and take the time to get to know your donors as much as you can. This is particularly important if you choose a thank you call–a call is still one of your only two-way communication opportunities available–so when you call to thank your donors, find out what inspired their gift, and listen carefully.

Don’t Disregard Small Gifts

No matter the size of the gift, every donor should be acknowledged with the respect they deserve. A small donation doesn’t necessarily indicate less devotion or interest in your organization. They may intend to contribute in other ways, such as volunteering, or increasing their donation amount in the future.

This is also a situation where having donor profiles will come in handy. For example, if someone donates a smaller amount on a monthly basis and has done so for several years, you can make it a point to acknowledge their loyalty and recognize their anniversaries of giving!

Do Write Thank You Letters by Hand

In the digital age, there is nothing more personal or impressive than a handwritten note thanking someone for their gift and their time. This is especially true for small, non-profit organizations looking to grow, for new donors, or if you have donors that have been loyal to your organization for quite a while. It shows your sincere appreciation and gives you the opportunity to customize your response using the information you’ve gathered. You can also let them know how their donation has been put to use. And nothing personal comes in a #10 envelope! Switch it out for a different size.

Don’t Ask for More Money Yet!

Reaching out to your donors to thank them should be just that — a thank you! Give them time to appreciate that you’ve reached out to them rather than making your thank you seem disingenuous by immediately asking them for another gift.

Do Keep Your Thank Yous Interesting

Whether you write a letter or make a call, do your best to avoid stale, jargon filled language that feels insincere or too formulaic. Use phrases that acknowledge what their gift has done and how it has improved someone’s life or made the world a better place. This is the perfect opportunity to make your donors feel warm and fuzzy, and this could encourage them to become a donor for life.

Leaving a Positive Impression

Building and maintaining relationships with donors is a sure-fire way to keep your non-profit running successfully. Reaching out to thank them in meaningful ways will nurture donors’ commitment and devotion to your cause.

An excellent solution to creating a substantial campaign to thank your donors is to consider outsourcing. At Aria, we see ourselves as an extension of your team and treat your donors, clients, and prospects in a meaningful and professional manner. Contact us to find out how we can create a custom program for thanking your donors today!

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