“Thank you” 10 ways
“Thanks” in multiple languages
Some of the simplest functions of a ministry can communicate thankfulness to donors. For instance:
- Putting a thank-you note in with the receipt, and getting it back to the donor as quickly as is humanly possible after her gift is received.
There is literally no single more effective way to lengthen the lifespan of your relationship with a donor.
How long does it take our ministry to get a receipt to a donor? A week? Too long. A month? Yikes.
What are we saying to our donor by dragging our feet? “Ah, sure, you gave, but it didn’t mean all that much to me.”
2. Acknowledging a suddenly-bigger-than-usual gift from a donor.
If someone gives a gift half again as big as she’s ever given, we have to believe she was somehow especially inspired — and she has probably made a significant sacrifice to give you that much.
If we offer a generic “thanks,” well, that’s better than nothing. But a warm note that acknowledges her special effort —
“I couldn’t help but notice how generous you were…” will go far toward deepening her connection to our ministry.
The same idea should apply whenever a monthly pledger increases her monthly pledge, even slightly. That’s a major signal of donor loyalty — and needs to be applauded!
3. Calling your most generous donors, just to say thanks, because they are, after all, the people most responsible for enabling you to do what you’re doing!
Have a staffer or a volunteer call each of your top donors — just once or twice a year. Not to ask for help. Not to hint around about an upcoming project. Just to say thanks. Maybe even to ask if there’s a specific way you could support the donor in prayer.
4. Dropping a handwritten thank-you note from a staff member or volunteer.
This is the licked-stamp version of the phone call idea.
A handwritten note of thanks from a volunteer or staff member can make a powerful impact. It can also make an important impression on the one who writes the note!
What would happen if each member of your ministry staff began each workday by writing one short note of thanks to one donor?
5. Mail an annual letter of thanks instead of an appeal letter — no request for help, no reply form or envelope — to the entire donor file.
Q: How could you survive financially, since you couldn’t expect a lot of donations in response to such a letter?
A: Break your mailing list into 12 parts, and mail the thank-you letter to one-twelfth of your donor family each month over the course of a year.
Next time, we’ll look at “Thank you” five more ways….