Monday, May 5, 2008

The Two Most Magic Words Of Fundraising -- Thank You

The most often overlooked aspect of fundraising is conveying the simple "thank you" to donors. Too many times volunteers and staff of organizations complain about not being able to keep a large percentage of their donor base. It's like leaves blowing in the wind. Some will come your way and just as quickly disappear never to come back your way again.

Once you acknowledge this, you must find some way of keeping your supporters as they come your way. The simplest way is with "thank you's". Believe it or not, the more you thank your supporters, the more you will involve them. Giving them the sense of really belonging to what your group is trying to accomplish.

Is one time enough? How about four to seven times expressing your appreciation? If you chose four times, then you are on your way to involving your donors and purveying a since of sincere thanks.

Your first "thank you" should be the acknowledgment of their gift. A simple form with the amount of their donation that they can use for tax purposes (Include a return envelope).

Second, is to send a newsletter about your organization with a small note thanking the donor again (Include a return envelope). This will allow them to follow what your group is doing.

Third, send a small token of your appreciation for their gift with a short note (Include a return envelope). A T-shirt from your group, coffee cup with your groups logo, a unique looking fountain pen, or another item that will continually remind them about your group as they use these items. All will cost around $4.00 or less and will provide a large return for what you invested. See, for examples.

Fourth, send a brief survey asking for their input when you put on your function or campaign. Let them know that you value their opinion. Include a small thank you note or brief letter. Be sure to ask meaningful questions like: 1. Did you enjoy your experience at our function, 2. Are there areas that we can improve upon, 3. Can you refer others that would welcome the opportunity to be involved also (have space so they can place a name, phone number, and address), 4. What is the best time of the year to hold this event, 5. Would you consider becoming a volunteer at our next event (include committee positions with a small box where they can check off). Be careful not to make it too long. Include a pre-stamped return envelope or you will most likely not get the survey back.

Fifth, Send a letter from the President of your group thanking them for their support. Put the note on the letterhead of the business or company where they work. If a photograph was taken with a dignitary at the event or of the donor with spouse or colleague, send this along. Include a return envelope.

Sixth, send a letter on your group's letterhead from the Executive Director of your group thanking them for their support. Include a return envelope.

Seventh, send a note from someone that has been helped by their donation. This may be a child if you are a youth organization or a homeless person if you are a shelter, or someone touched by what you do. Be sure to include a return envelope. You get the picture.

With the advent of computers, it is possible to keep track of what was given by each donor in the past, how much they gave, and when you thanked them. Track their involvement over the course of the year and you will see an improvement in the number of supporters that will join you next time around.

When used often, those simple words "thank you", will definitely increase your donations, gifts and goodwill toward your group. So start thanking your supporters as many times as you can think of. -


Marcia said...

If you’re looking for thank you gifts has a bunch of cool stuff. I ordered wave coffee mugs a couple months ago for my church and everyone loved them! They’ve got t-shirts, pens as well as fun items like camp chairs and chocolate bars! Prices are lower than everywhere else I’ve shopped. They’ve got a ton of stuff for under $4.00 as well as higher-priced items for top donors.

Aice Nice Concepts said...

wow nice information ha mahilig ka pala fund raising ^_^

madami kana siguro pera dyan nako pa libre naman po

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