I have recently noticed a number of posts about how well (or not so well) charities thank their donors. There are the obvious and obligatory automatic thank you emails that everyone (probably) sends out after said donor donates. Some groups send personally written thank you notes a few days after to put a nice ribbon on the in-cash gift. Others find creative ways to say that all important thank you multiple times in multiple different ways.
All of these examples say thank you but do we know the impact they have on the donor’s experience? Do you think your automated email (even if it is personalized) gives the donor warm fuzzies the way a hand written letter does? I don’t know. I don’t think so. How about thanking them at least three different ways? I don’t know that either. I do know that you know how your donors would respond to each example. I also know that your donors are smart enough to have an idea of what took some effort to do and what didn’t. Making the effort is what is important here. Not doing x. Or doing x, y times. Put in the effort that you think will excite your contributors. That’s the best way to say thanks. In this case, it is the effort that counts (thanks Mom).
Find new and creative ways to thank your donor that will remind them of the warm feeling of giving in the first place. Use these great posts with examples, how-to’s, how not-to’s, and when to’s for inspiration:
2009 Year-End Fundraising Guide
Really saying thank you (in creative ways) with examples from Urban Outfitters
Unraveling Development: Thank your donors. And thank them again.
How Many Thank-Yous Will I Get This Year?
Five Fundraising Tips to Add to your Checklist (#5)