With the giving season in full effect, it’s important to remember the people who support your nonprofit’s mission. Even though acknowledging your donors is a year round activity, the Holidays can be a perfect time to let them know that you appreciate them. Since no two donors are alike, you’ll want to have numerous ideas on hand. Here’s a list of some of our favorite ideas for ways that you can show appreciation for your donors.
1. Email, Mail, or Phone
The easiest method to let your donors know that you’re thinking of them is by reaching out to them. Whether it be an email, a phone call, or a hand-written letter, reaching out shows your donors that you care and it creates the opportunity for future communication, allowing you to get to know them better. Plus, the fact that you’ve taken the time to reach out could encourage donors to put more trust in your nonprofit and allow for future collaboration. Make sure to take your time with the message and tailor it to your particular donor’s individual contribution. If you send something that reads as broad and generic, it may have the opposite effect on your donor and discourage them from continuing to communicate with your nonprofit.
2. Purchasing Merchandise
Some donors may appreciate a physical token of appreciation such as t-shirts, calendars, coffee mugs, or stickers. One way that you could implement this is by including it in a welcome package for new donors. The most important thing to remember is that these gifts should be things that are relative to your donors interests and/or your company’s mission. If you include something that’s in line with your company’s mission, it will give the donor a better idea of what they’re supporting and who your company is. If you include something that’s in line with your donor’s interests, you’re showing them that you pay attention to their interests and appreciate their help.
3. Host a Meal
Everyone loves to eat! Hosting a breakfast/lunch/dinner event can be a fun and social setting that provides the chance for your nonprofit to get to know its donors. It could also be an opportunity for your donors to meet one another or for your donors to bring interested parties that may eventually be encouraged to support you. Since it’s a more casual setting, you should try to balance conversation and networking with the promotion of your nonprofit. This way, donors don’t feel like they’re being lectured and are open to conversations with other donors as well as members of your nonprofit organization. For example, if you were running a food bank a creative way to showcase your company’s mission while also maintaining a casual setting could be hiring a chef for a cookout and cook meals using items from your food bank. You’d still be appreciating your donors and promoting your nonprofit, just not in a way that’s too formal.
4. Guided Tours
Giving your donors a tour of your facility or city that you’re located in could help improve the bond between you and your donors. By allowing your donors to see the facility first hand and meet your team, you’re giving them a behind the scenes look at the mission that they’re supporting. You’re acknowledging them and making them feel important by letting them in on what goes in your organization’s day-to-day schedule. If you don’t feel comfortable having donors tour your facility, you could also take them along on a tour of the city. While it won’t be specifically focused on your nonprofit, you can still converse with donors and show them around. You can even include locations that you feel reflect a similar mission/attitude that your nonprofit envisions.
5. Social Media & Newsletters
Because of its simplicity and scale, social media can be a powerful channel through which you can show your donors that you appreciate them. When you thank donors on social media, you’re making a direct correlation between the donor and your platform. Beyond that, you’re also promoting your company and donors to a much larger audience than if you were simply sending an email to a single donor. Another way of acknowledging your donors to a bigger audience is by including a donor profile in your newsletter. By doing this, you’re still making a direct correlation between the donor and your platform, and you’re still promoting your company and your donors, you’re just doing it on a much more specific scale.