This new blog is written by our grant writers, Ejiro Ubeidi!
Thanking your donors is one of the most important aspects of fundraising. Properly thanking your donors can often mean the difference between getting another grant/gift from that donor and being passed over for the next ask.
A really nice way to thank donors, throughout the year, is through regular “love letters”. These are letters, perhaps quarterly, that let your donor know what your agency is up to, particularly with the funds they have generously donated to your agency. It might be also good to share any new projects that might be of interest to your donor. It’s important that you don’t make an ask in thank you letters/love letters to donors. These letters are an opportunity to show your donors how thankful you are and share with them all the wonderful things your agency is doing to support their legacy as well as uphold your own mission and values.
Another creative way to thank donors is to host a luncheon and invite a few donors at a time. This is an opportunity for donors to meet the other funders of your agency and to learn more about the important work you’re doing to support your mission and values.
If you are thanking individual donors, sending a card or flowers for their birthday is a nice way of staying on their radar: nothing too over the top, since you don’t want your donors to think you spend money frivolously.
Newspaper articles or features that mention your agency or a specific program that a funder has supported is another great way to keep in touch and once again, thank the donor for their generous support.
End of Year Giving and Thanking Donors
End of Year Giving can sometimes be tricky in fundraising. Most grantmaking foundations have already allocated their grant dollars for the year. However, individual donors, people like you and me, may be very motivated to give by that December 31st deadline. For most, it is beneficial as a tax write off, as well as a generous way to support their favorite nonprofit. So, what is the best way to promote end of year giving among generous donors?
Depending on the background of your donors, you can appeal to a number of different interests. If your donors have an interest in supporting children’s causes, you might appeal to them with a giving campaign that helps needy children for the holidays. Their giving patterns throughout the year can also provide clues on what they might find of particular interest in their year-end giving.
Thanking your donors in your Annual Report is the standard for most nonprofits. Annual reports are also a great way to showcase to your donors all of the activities and events over the last year and where their dollars have gone. For those who have given, they may be inspired to give again and for those who are thinking of giving, they may be compelled to do so after learning of the many ways their dollars can help their cause of choice.
Holiday cards are also a special way to remind donors of your agency and the spirit of giving and a great way to thank donors. Usually a holiday card sent out right before the Thanksgiving holiday is the best way to gain donor attention, before the holiday season is in full swing.
Make it a point to plan your end of year giving strategy and your thanking donors’ strategy, when you doing fundraising planning for the year or perhaps at a staff retreat. A well thought out strategy for thanking donors and year-end giving always translates well on paper and makes a big difference with donors, individuals and foundations alike.