by Susanna Decker, Senior Consultant – HUB Philanthropic Solutions
THANK YOU…Two little words, less than 10 characters and less than 2 seconds of typing time makes the world of difference to any communication, any interaction.
The other day, I was at a steering committee meeting for one of our clients and one of the members of the committee, who is also a major donor, said to the Executive Director that she loves her letters!
She went on to say…
“You don’t know how much it means to get a letter from you that always has a special handwritten note on it AND you often send notes without asking us for anything at all. You just want to keep us up to date. That is so appreciated – thank you!”
After the meeting, the Executive Director and I talked about this and once again, realized just how important and meaningful it is to have “touch” points throughout the year with our donors and friends that support our mission. We all know that the work of the development staff is busy all throughout the year. There really isn’t any slow period…we are busy meeting with donors, writing grants, planning and executing events…as you know first-hand, the list continues! What we do know is that one thing that cannot end up on the short list is thanking our donors and keeping them close to us. This thoughtful comment of one donor the other day was a great reminder to us that our donors are our partners and investors in our missions.
Here are a few ways to thank your donors throughout the year…
- Remember their birthdays – a phone call, email or a card goes a long way
- If you have a wonderful update about a program – call or drop a note and share this with your donors
- On Valentine’s Day – send a valentine with a special note
- Thanksgiving – the day that gratitude is top of mind…send a note to your donors, board members and volunteers
- Share a quote from a client that uses your organization so that your donor knows first-hand the impact their gift is making
- Invite your donor to come for a visit and have the program staff share some stories about how your programs are making a difference in people’s lives
- Share a news article tied to your organization or mission and jot a hand written note to go along with it
- Your data is powerful – call a donor when they’ve made their 25th, 50th, 100th gift and thank them
There are so many ways to thank our donors. Be creative and thoughtful. Build your Thank-you’s into your annual development plan…this is one way to ensure that you stay on track. When someone gives their time, advice, money, support…whatever they did – the bit that is most remembered is whether or not it was appreciated. One final note…THANK YOU for reading this blog today!