How to thank your donors properly

7 September 2021

Thanking your donors properly is a great way to start to build a positive relationship with them to help secure further donations in the future. Donors want to feel like they are making a difference and are part of changing the world. While some may shy away from further recognition, saying thank you after a donation is always appreciated and helps your donors see that your organisation values them.

Creating a thankyou page and email for your campaigns may take time but it will help you to build a good reputation. Never underestimate the power of building positive relationships and going above and beyond, the better your donors feel the more likely they are to spread the word about the amazing work your organisation is doing.

That is why we’ve put together some tips on how you can improve your thank you message to help increase the chance of donors donating again.

Why is thanking donors important?

Thanking donors properly is so important as it shows good donor stewardship and helps to build a solid foundation for a long-term relationship. The better your relationship with your donors the stronger their loyalty will be when they are considering who to donate to. This is why taking the time to show how much each donation means to your organisation is crucial to securing recurring donors. 

Thanking donors is also just polite and the right thing to do and goes a long way to remind people of your organisation etiquette. Today reputations can be built and destroyed just as easily, people read reviews and comments online so make sure that you always put the effort into everything your donors receive from your organisation.

Tips on how to thank your donors properly

A good way to ensure your donors are thanked properly is to have an instant thankyou page and email setup that is sincere, personal and informs your donor about the cause.

  • Instant thank yous

Sending thank you letters can be timely but not if you have automated thank you’s setup to be sent as soon as the donation is made. Some online platforms such as Generous allow organisations to set up thankyou letters per campaign that can be branded so as soon as a donor donates they instantly receive a nice thankyou email and an attached receipt.

Instant thank you emails allow you to thank your donor exactly how you like as they are customisable and efficient as you can set it up and know all donors will be thanked straightaway. Having an instant thank you email and receipt also reassures donors that your organisation has received your donation.

  • Be sincere

To engage with your donors and to start building a strong relationship you need to be sincere in your thank you letter. Taking the time to think about what you’re trying to communicate is so important, you want donors to feel like you are thanking them because you want to show your appreciation not because you have to.

Most donation platforms will store donor information so make sure when writing your thank you email that you use that information to address them directly. Another way to add sincerity is by adding a little message from the CEO or another important figure in your organisation about how thankful they are for all contributions. This will show donors that your organisation cares about every dollar they receive as they are willing to spend busy people’s time in order to show appreciation.

  • Share the impact

A great way to show your donors how much their donation means to you is by sharing the impact by explaining what their donation has allowed you to do. By providing information about how your organisation is spending the money donors will see that it is being put to good use and will feel instant pride as they are helping your organisation make a difference.

Sharing the impact also allows you to keep your donors informed about how your campaign is going. Tell them what you have achieved so far and what you need to reach your goal. This might encourage them to set up a recurring gift or spread the good work your organisation is doing to their friends so they can donate as well.

  • Appealing

Having an appealing thank you email is crucial, if you fill the email with text most donors will not read it. You should include images, videos or links so donors are drawn in and more enticed to read your message. Showing sincerity with the CEO saying thankyou or sharing your organisations impact by including a small video is way more powerful than words. Add all the details with your text but highlight the most important message with engaging content, show your donors you took the time to show you appreciate their donation.

  • Phone and mail

While you cannot thank every donor by calling them or sending them a letter, you should always try to go the extra mile to thank your best donors. If you want to secure a long relationship with your best donors you should go above and beyond to make sure they know how much their donation means to your organisation. Highlighting your donors and showing them proper recognition will push them to spread the word and improve your reputation and increase donations.

  • Keep in touch

Remember all these tips are just the beginning you need to make sure you keep in touch with your donors. Include a newsletter sign-up in your giving form or thank you email so can keep them up to date with your campaign. If you can also include social sharing in your giving form, it is also a great idea to include your social media links on your thank you email so donors can easily keep track of what’s going on in your organisation.

Another way to encourage your donors to donate again is to remind them of anniversaries, like when they made their first donation. Send them an email and tell them how you’re going now and ask if they would like to donate again.

Showing donors you care and appreciate their valuable donation is the best way to create a strong lasting relationship and secure regular donations. Implementing these tips will help you create a thank you letter that will be engaging and thank your donors properly to increase giving!

In order to successfully thank your donors, you should also consider tiering your donors so you know who to reach out to further to secure future gifts. For more information on how to tier your donors to separate major donors for one-off keep an eye out for our next blog!

Want to increase your donations? Take a  tour to find out how Generous can help you get started.