The Two Most Powerful Words for a Nonprofit: Thank You.
In the world of nonprofit organizations, you can never say “thank you” enough. This is one aspect of your organization that you can never over-do. With this concept in mind, let’s take a look at the process of thanking your sponsors, guests, volunteers and all other patrons related to your fundraising events. We at AmFund have years of experience in the “thank you" department, and we hope the following information will provide you with valuable insight into this process when it comes time to thank your supporters.
Don’t Stress Over Timing
First thing is first, don’t stress about the timing of your "Thank Yous". Many organizations tend to feel the pressure to send out "Thank Yous" immediately after an event, especially accompanied by financial papers regarding their donations or auction purchases for their records.
Don't you think that getting a true "thank you" on it's own, without associating it with money, would be more genuine and appreciated? Most of your supporters are probably not worried about the timing of their "Thank Yous", and would forego getting one directly after the event versus waiting a few months to receive a more genuine, personalized thank you. Personalization is the key to your supporters hearts.
Send them out when your organization’s schedule slows down a bit. For many, the summer time is a great time to catch up on a task like this and to put your organization at the forefront of your supporter's minds.
Creative Ways to Say Thank You
Now that we have the timing issue out of the way, let’s dive into some creative thank you ideas.
· Pass around cards at your next meeting and have your employees write individual thank you messages to your supporters. This helps ensure that you reach everyone who supports your organization – including your smaller donors. Even that person who donated $20 needs a thank you.
· Get creative with your centerpieces. For example, one of our nonprofit partners placed beautiful orchids at each sponsor table, complete with a handwritten thank you note.
· If your organization involves children or pets, have the children or pet owners write up some of the thank you messages. It’s always great for your supporters to hear directly from those who receive the benefits of your organization’s mission.
·Create a donor honor wall at your nonprofit. Try to design it keeping in theme with your nonprofit. For example: Paws painted on the wall with the donors name if you run an animal related nonprofit, children's hand prints if your nonprofit involves children, a bookshelf with books in it with the donors' names written on the spines if you run an educational or literacy nonprofit. The ideas are endless!
· Invite them as a thank you to spend the day "behind the scenes" at your nonprofit. Treat them to lunch as part of the thank you and meet all of the faces of those they have helped.
· Add something personal to your message whenever you can. Maybe you know their child just graduated high school. Or maybe you heard about the news of a new grandchild.
Anything personal like this helps build a connection with your supporters.
· You can always search Pinterest for "Creative Ways to Say Thank you" ideas.
Always keep in mind; people like to feel like their thank you message is coming from people, not some stale corporate message. Make sure you mention your cause as much as you can; after all, your organization’s mission is the central piece to the relationship with your supporters.
For more tips on thank you messages and other follow-up messages, contact us today at AmFund.