Donor retention is crucial to the sustainability of your organization and a stewardship plan is vital when it comes to donor retention. A well thought out stewardship plan is diverse in the methods of appreciation as everyone receives appreciation differently. Below we lay out 5 different ways to show your donors you appreciate them:
Plan a Donor Appreciation Event
Get to know your donors more personally with a face to face meet-up. Appreciation events don’t need to be big and flashy and definitely shouldn’t include any sort of fundraising, but they should be fun! The purpose of an appreciation event is to make your donors feel important, evoke positive emotions that will then later be associated with your organization, and a chance for you to get to know and truly understand your donors.
Spotlight Donors in Your Communications
While not all donors want to be recognized publicly, there are many that would see it as an honor. Highlighting your donors through social media, blog posts, annual reports, newsletters, or any other communications your nonprofit puts out is a low cost, high impact way of showing your appreciation. In addition to displaying appreciation, sharing donor spotlights has the potential to show prospective donors why your current donors believe in your mission, often leading to new donors.
Handwritten “Thank You” Notes
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again! Handwritten “thank you” notes may seem old-school but they are meaningful and effective in showing a donor’s worth to your organization.
The key is to make these as personal as possible, which can be difficult especially as your organization grows. But, the more seen and important a donor feels, the more likely they are to donate again.
Are handwritten personalized “thank you” notes too big of an ask for your organization? Try a typed letter with a personal signature or a personalized email thank you!
Show Your Donors the Difference They Are Making
Showing your donors the difference their dollars are making can go a long way. This could be as simple as sharing the story of someone your organization has helped or a bit more hands-on with a tour of a program facility. Think outside the box and truly show your donor the impact of the money they gave your organization.
Call Your Donors
Your donors probably haven’t received a call from other organizations they’ve donated to. It’s time consuming and takes more thought and energy, but a phone call expressing your gratitude can build trust and help your organization stand out in a saturated market.
Come up with some talking points, engage your team (volunteers, team members, board members, and those impacted by your mission), and get on the phone!
Do you have a younger donor base? Consider thanking your donors with a text. If you do, make sure it has a personal touch to it!
Genuine and personal thank yous solidify the relationship between your nonprofit and your donors. Consistently show your donors their importance and the impact their gifts make so the next time you ask, they want to give.