One of the hottest topics every year in the nonprofit industry is donor retention, which is why we are talking about it in January! The best road to a great retention rate in 2016 begins with gift acknowledgements. Saying thank you to your donors should be a top priority for your organization this year, if it isn’t already #1 on your list!
Be a Retention Superstar
Sending a gift acknowledgement can come in many different forms: an automated email; a personalized thank you card; or a thoughtful phone call. However, all acknowledgements should have the intent of deepening your relationships. Donors need to know their donation made a significant impact on your organization’s mission. What is your current retention rate? If you don’t know, how can you improve? (P.S. Your Account Services team member will know.) Sending a simple donation receipt without a heartfelt message will make your donors run for the hills. Take some time this month to review and implement a better and more comprehensive gift acknowledgement process. You will reap the benefits of your new and improved donor cultivation strategies at the end of the year.
Don’t Be Stale, Thank Donors Creatively
Timely, meaningful, handwritten and personalized thank you cards and phone calls are a great way to stay in touch with your donors after a contribution has been made. But there are also other ways to let your donors know how appreciative you are for their gifts. Think outside of the box and have fun with your gift acknowledgements! Short videos will be all the rage this year on social media, so why not create one on the landing page after a gift is made? Invite your donors to an event or a tour of your facilities. Send donors an anniversary card on the date of their first donation or annual gift or send a shout out to your supporters through social media.
Put yourself in your donor’s shoes. If you contributed to a mission that you really cared about but didn’t receive any recognition or acknowledgement for your gift, how likely would you be to make a future gift? You can build a stronger connection with your donors by letting them know how grateful you are for their support. For more on retention rates and gift acknowledgements, check out our headline article in the next issue of Embark, which will be released mid-February.
“Fundraising is not really about money, it’s about people.” – Larry C. Johnson
Your furry friend,