Does your nonprofit provide gifts to your donors?
You know, things like coffee mugs to commemorate pledges, t-shirts for runs, keepsake glassware from a gala.
Quid pro quo is simply an exchange of goods or services, where obtaining the gift is contingent upon a financial contribution.
So should we be providing these items? Does it endear our donors to our organization? Do they care?
There may not be a simple yes/no answer. But I’ll give you a challenge. Think about OTHER ways to make that same lasting impression.
At my client’s recent gala, each sponsor received a custom hand-made thank you card from a participant in the program. The cards were made by individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and each one was as unique as the artist themselves. They were handed to the sponsors upon check in.
My client received kudos for making such a great connection to the mission. I don’t think a wine glass would have received that sort of response.
We also have a few older donors who don’t come out for events and aren’t even comfortable with a personal visit for coffee. Our exchanges are limited to the phone, email and letters. While this frustrates me as a development officer, I understand.
I need to remember to meet these folks where they are at. Not try to mold them to how I like to communicate, right? So this month I sent them a canister hand-painted by our art group with a note and cookies inside. They absolutely loved it and the cost is in line with what I would spend on them if I took them to lunch.
So I challenge you to be creative. Think about what your nonprofit has to offer. Maybe a photo in a frame of children reading books purchased with recent contributions is more meaningful than a traditional give-away. Brainstorm with your program service staff to find memorable ways to make a lasting impression on your donors. And hint… it’s probably not a lapel pin.
by: Michelle Jimenez, Senior Consultant HUB Philanthropic Solutions