How to thank your donors

Thanking donors is just as important as asking them. We should have just as much knowledge about how we can make donors feel appreciated and connected as we do about motivating them to give.

Here’s a start, at Clairification: 3 Rules for Thanking Nonprofit Donors that Should Never Be Broken.


  1. Send a letter within 48 hours.
  2. Personalize your thank you with notes and inserts.
  3. Pick up the phone.

I have one item to add to the list:


  • Thank donors relevantly and specifically. If you asked them to give to feed hungry people, thank them for feeding hungry people. Not for “your support,” or something similarly abstract — that makes it clear you aren’t paying attention to the donor’s passion — the reason she was moved to give.

Fundraising should be a relationship, not a transaction.


Comments

2 responses to “How to thank your donors”

  1. Thanks for sharing this Jeff! And even though I didn’t add your rule to my article, I 100% agree with it.
    One more rule: Never say “every little bit helps.” Usually, this isn’t true. If you have a specific fundraising goal, and you don’t raise enough, then you won’t be able to do what you’ve set out to do. Tell people how much you want them to give — and what that gift will accomplish. They will appreciate the guidance.

  2. Thanks for sharing this Jeff! And even though I didn’t add your rule to my article, I 100% agree with it.
    One more rule: Never say “every little bit helps.” Usually, this isn’t true. If you have a specific fundraising goal, and you don’t raise enough, then you won’t be able to do what you’ve set out to do. Tell people how much you want them to give — and what that gift will accomplish. They will appreciate the guidance.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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