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How to thank donors in a powerful and cost-effective way?

Follow these tips for thanking your organization’s financial supporters.

  • Act fast: Thank your donor at the first available opportunity using the most personable means at your disposal. If you can either thank them in person or pick up the phone to show your appreciation.
  • Get the basics right: Some donors, especially international funders, expect certain reports and other kinds of information to be filed at the moment of funding as well as throughout the funding period. These organisation’s require this information to examine and justify their support for you cause, make sure you fulfil your obligations and make their job easier at the same time. Even individual donors should be updated on what difference their money has been made wherever possible.
  • Make it tangible: Help your donor to understand how their money is being used and the real life difference it will make. Share some brief information on exactly what their money will be used for and how it will change lives to make a great impression on your supporter. This demonstrates that your organisation is open, accountable and transparent, a few of the most important values that long term donors look for in an organisation.
  • Images: In today’s digital world it has never been easier or quicker to take a quick snap and email it to your donor with a simple message of thanks. A picture of your project in action is one of the best ways of demonstrating your appreciation. The old adage of a picture speaks a thousand words stands true and provides a great sharable record of your donors contribution to your work.
  • Connect online:There are hundreds of millions of individuals and organisations online and using social media, probably your donor too. Thanking them using tools such as Facebook and Twitter is a great quick and modern way of sharing of a public declaration of your organisation’s thanks for someones support.
  • Updates:Keep your owner informed of your progress, particularly in the area of work they have contributed. If they can get an understanding of the value of their financial support and most importantly the difference it has made the more likely they are to invest in your cause again.
  • Personalise:Make every thank you personal. Try not to send standard letters and definitely don’t send the same letter again at a later date. Just a few words that remind the donor that you recognise them as an individual and value their support can help you to stay in their minds for the next time they are looking to make a donation.
  • Involve beneficiaries: For organisations that work with people, your beneficiaries are the most powerful example of donations in action. Capture their experience with quotes and pictures that you can share with your donors. Even better is to record a short message of thanks from the people you work with directly in the form of a letter or video.

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