35 ways to thank your donors

ThanksDonor stewardship is a critical component of the fundraising cycle. Through providing prompt and personal thank you messages to donors, nonprofit organizations can show gratitude for donations received and nurture donor relationships to foster future support. It is a promising practice to thank donors 7 times, before asking for another donation.

Consider these strategies to thank donors:

  1. Write a handwritten note
  2. Host a donor appreciation event
  3. Provide donors with a photograph of a service beneficiary holding a “thank you” sign
  4. Post a thank you message on the nonprofit’s Facebook page
  5. Invite board member to make thank you phone calls to donors
  6. Invite donors to coffee and share updates on what was accomplished with their donation
  7. Invite a donor to breakfast with the board chair for a peer-to-peer thank you
  8. Mail a newspaper clipping of a recent article to a donor and thank the donor for the support to make the project possible
  9. Take donors on a tour of your program to highlight the impact of their donation
  10. Give donors a token gift for a nontraditional holiday
  11. Endorse your donors on LinkedIn for skills including philanthropy, nonprofit, and causes related to your mission
  12. Deliver a plant to a donor thanking them for helping to grow your organization’s impact in the community
  13. Mail your newsletter to donors inside hand-addressed envelopes with a personal thank you note paper-clipped to the front
  14. Create a Vine, Animoto or Flipagram thank you video
  15. Publicly thank donors from the podium at a special event
  16. Mail a certificate of appreciation to the donor
  17. Tweet a thank you message on Twitter
  18. List donor names in the organization’s newsletter with a thank you message
  19. Invite service recipients to make thank you phone calls to donors
  20. Mail Thanksgiving Day cards to donors letting them know that your organization is thankful for their support
  21. Nominate a donor for a local philanthropy award
  22. Send a “donation update” email letting donors know how their gift is making an impact
  23. Start a donor wall
  24. Record a YouTube video thank you message from program recipients and send it to donors
  25. Send birthday cards to donors thanking them for their support throughout the year
  26. Include a donor list in the affiliate’s annual report
  27. Provide a window decal to businesses so they can proudly display their support of your organization
  28. Go Christmas caroling to visit and thank donors
  29. Present a plaque to a donor recognizing ongoing support
  30. Include a featured donor profile in your newsletter
  31. Print sponsor logos in event programs
  32. Create a virtual donor wall on your organization’s website
  33. Create thoughtful projects from Pinterest for unique gifts to deliver to donors
  34. Send a copy of the organization’s annual report to a donor with a post it note on it thanking the donor for supporting the organization
  35. Celebrate a donor’s ten year giving anniversary

Through thanking donors, you can strengthen the relationship between donors and your organization, which can lead to increased financial donations in the future.

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About Dr. Sarah Wolin Mackey

Putting theory into practice at nonprofit organizations.
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