Fundraising has a rhythm: People give. You thank them.
Then you move on to the next thing. Isn’t that how it’s done?
If so, it’s wrong.
Thanking isn’t the END of the process. It’s the BEGINNING.
Thanking someone is how you kick off the stewardship part of fundraising and start building a relationship with the donor.
Every donor. Even the ones who give small amounts.
It’s tempting to pay attention ONLY to the donors who give bigger amounts – the ones we think can give us even more money.
But what you don’t know is that many people are testing the waters with smaller gifts. Some will give you $25 just to see what you’ll do. If they like what they see, they’ll give more.
The point is that you don’t know what kind of gift someone could give to your nonprofit. And until you do, treat everyone as if they’re capable of making a game-changing gift.
That treatment should begin with a heart-warming, powerful thank-you letter.
Think about it: how much thought do you put into donor acknowledgement?
Are you thanking your donors as if the next gift they’ll gift will be the biggest one they’ve ever give (and the biggest one you’ve ever received)?
If not, you could be wasting big fundraising opportunities.
Most of your donors could give a LOT more…. IF they feel like it.
Donors want to feel:
- Appreciated. They want to know they matter to you.
- Involved. They want to be part of something that makes a difference in the world.
- Confident. They want to know they made a good decision to give to you.
How you thank a donor will set the stage for the donor’s next gift.
Do a good job of thanking them and giving them the feelz they want, and you’ll see another donation. Maybe even a bigger one.
Rush through it just to hurry and get it done, and you may not see another donation.
Here are some tips for thanking a donor’s socks off:
- Spend as much time thanking as you do asking. Spend plenty of time getting the thank-you letter right – don’t just blow through it to get it done. Add a thank-you video for extra juice!
- Mean it when you say thanks. Be sincere and authentic. Have an attitude of gratitude – your intention will show through and donors will know if you mean what you’re saying.
- Be quick like a bunny. Thank-you letters going through the postal system need to go out within 48 hours. Automated receipts should go out immediately. Check the text on those to be sure they’re warm and sincere, not just the default language of the software you’re using.
Watch this short 3 minute video as I explain the importance of not wasting your big fundraising opportunities:
Fundraising truth for small and new nonprofits: Make thanking donors a priority. Spend as much time thanking as you do asking. Treat every donor as if they’re capable of making a game-changing gift.
Do that and you’ll feel like you just sprouted wings and are flying!
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