At a time when gift giving is prevalent and your donors and volunteers are flooded with holiday cards and gifts, how will you stand out? Finding creative ways to express sincere gratitude with personalized acknowledgment shows appreciation for your supporters and helps build strong relationships. You want to consider the options that are creative, cost-effective, and leave each supporter with a positive, memorable impression. Let them know you are as involved in them as they are in their support for your mission.
Ensuring your donors and volunteers recognize their importance in your mission is an essential part of what many nonprofits call “donor care.” Below are four unique ways for your organization to go above and beyond to thank supporters for their time, energy, resources, and contributions.
Handwritten Holiday Cards with a Surprise
A personalized, handwritten thank you or holiday card will never lose its sentimental value. It demonstrates that your organization recognizes the importance of it’s supporters. Your handwritten card should include a personalized greeting (include names), a thank you that specifically recognizes their support or contribution, the added value their support brings to your nonprofit (for example, provide an extra sentence or two that talks about the importance of their specific gift and any direct results from their contributions.), and a closing note sharing your future plans and what they can look forward to from your organization.
Go the extra mile by including the following:
- For an added touch of importance, ask your board to personally sign the donation thank you letters or holiday cards.
- Enclose your letter or card with a laptop sticker or something small associated with your mission. For example, an environmental organization could include a small pack of seeds or a children’s organization can include fingerprints or a
- Include an exclusive coupon for a local store or restaurant to reward them for their support. We encourage you to work on a partnership with a local business to accomplish this.
A Quick Phone Call from your Board Members
Provide your board members with a list of donors you’d like them to reach out to for a quick yet sincere “thank you.” This approach will keep your board members engaged in their role while also building deeper bonds with your supporters. For convenience, provide your Board Members with a script to reference during the call and include one or two specific details about the contributions and relationship with your nonprofit.
Go Digital with Personalized Videos or Downloads
It is possible to take a digital approach and still express sincerity and personalization. Organize a quick 1-3 minute video with your organization. Leveraging video is an effective, easy-to-do option to engage your supporters and share your appreciation with them. It opens the opportunity for them to catch a behind-the-scenes look ranging from Executive Directors, Board Members, staff members, volunteers, or someone connected to the organization. Be sure to include introductions and why you value their support.
Additional digital ways to show your appreciation and catch their attention are through the following:
- Create a digital photo flip book that shows all the work done this year. Be sure to send thanks for helping make it all happen!
- Send a “thank you” email with a digital, downloadable gift that relates back to your mission. For example, an adult or kid coloring page with an image associated with your mission, journaling prompts if you’re a nonprofit organization, etc.)
Host an Annual Donor Appreciation Party
Throw an appreciation mixer to bring your supporters together with others who share a common interest in supporting your mission! Make it virtual for convenience purposes and to include non-local supporters in the celebration. Plus, meeting your team in person or face-to-face virtually will help create a strong bond between your donors and your organization. Share the good news about the impact made with your donor’s contribution by having each member share a special memory from the year’s efforts to better communicate the influence of your supporters.