Telling The Best "Thank You" Story
It is no secret that donating to a charitable or social cause is an emotional decision. Therefore, when a person decides to support your charity or nonprofit organization with their hard-earned dollars, they certainly deserve a thank you letter and shown gratitude and appreciation the right away. Can you pull off a fantastic thank you letter, a letter that makes your donors so happy and motivated that they made their gift?
Keep in mind that even nowadays, in our highly digital world, individuals appreciate and prefer a conventional paper thank you, which arrives in their mailboxes. Wondering why? It is because the letter stands out.
It is worth noting that even individuals who always donate online like receiving a thank you letter by mail. Your donors should not doubt even for a second that their donation makes a real difference, and you really value them.
Below are some best practices for donor thank you letters.
Focus on the Donors
You should keep the attention or focus on the donor and his/her gifts, instead of focusing on your organization. Once you get the names and donation details of your donors, try to talk to your donors like you would speak to a close friend. It is worth noting that donors should feel that they are a crucial part of your team, not merely a source of funds. This is why you should use “you” and “your” regularly, and also make sure that you include your donors in any “we” statements.
Avoid looking at sending thank you letters to your donors as drudgery. Instead, use them as an excellent opportunity to be innovative and creative and connect with the donors. For example, you can do something that differentiates your organization.
For instance, videos are excellent opportunities to capture people’s attention while showing ingenuity. Keep in mind that making your thank you letter memorable and creative will reinforce your nonprofit organization in your supporters’ minds. Sending links to videos and photos of your work is a brilliant idea.
Here is another way to get creative. Let people who like you speak on your behalf. Rather than sending a thank you letter from an executive director or CEO, consider sending thank you letters from volunteers, and community members, etc.
Tell a Story
You can tell the story of a person who has benefited from your donor’s contribution. It is essential that your thank you letter connects the donors with what they have invested in your program. Keep in mind that it is not enough to say, for instance, “Thank you so much for your significant investment in our programs”. Instead, you should show exactly how their donation or gift is making a difference. And one of the most effective ways to do this is by telling a specific story of how your donor’s gift is making a real difference in people’s lives.
There is no doubt that the timing of your thank you letter may mean the difference between making a significant impact on your donors and making them feel like they are underappreciated. It is best to send your letter within the first 48 hours after the donation to make the most impact.
At Aegis, we have created a multi-channel gratitude platform for our clients. Our Donor Care Center provides inbound call support for donors, and our Donor Gratitude Center enables our clients to thank donors using multiple communication channels such as phone, email, text, or printed thank you letters.
Managing internal resources to support an acknowledgment process can be challenging for many organizations. You can lean on Aegis to be an extension of your organization to help alleviate these challenges and even improve your efficiencies and processes. Read more about our Donor Contact Center and Donor Gratitude Department here, and contact us if you'd like to discuss how our services can help your nonprofit.
Lori Read was appointed CEO of the Aegis Premier Solutions suite of companies in 2016. She has more than 30 years of remittance processing, banking, and financial expertise and is a subject matter expert in HIPAA and cybersecurity.