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Keep thanking: How to keep donors using thank you cards, phone calls, and emails.

There is constant chatter on thanking donors on LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s the topic of amazing sessions at conferences. Around every corner is a reminder to thank our donors.

Here’s another one. Please remember to thank your donors.

Remember that to me, as a consultant and as a donor, the auto-email from an online donation doesn’t count as a thank you. That’s a receipt. I suggest you consider a more personal way to thank someone who has just given. I also would add that these suggested ways to thank donors work really well for any type of thanking, including, say receiving a check.

“A check?”, you ask. Many still donate this way, and a thank you upon receipt is a great way to express gratitude but also lets the donor know that you have received their donation.

Thank you notes are wonderful. Yes, there is a cost and time capacity for them, and I think the payoff is worth it. I have been surprised by how much I love receiving a thank you note. My all time favorite was from a board member I know who took the time to write the most gracious, kind note.

Phone calls are personal and super easy. I make thank you calls in between other work projects. I often suggest to clients that a great time to make a phone call to thank a donor is right after a program meeting one attended when so much of the mission’s impact has been talked about.

Email definitely works, and is the least personal of these. But it does work, and is definitely better than no thank you at all. Perhaps attach a photo or a report of some sort that exemplifies the impact of your mission so the donor gets a reminder of why they give in addition to the thank you. Some of my clients create a quick video thank you with their phone and add that to the email.

Thanking is not overated, and you can always make time to do it. It defnitely makes a difference as you build a life-long relationship with your donor.

Thanks for reading!

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