As we mentioned last week, first-time donor retention is a measly 19%
. You can do so much better with just a few small changes. Start with the first thing your donors get after giving – the thank you!
Last week we gave you 5 fresh ideas for thank yous. Today we give you 4 more:
1. Record a Video Message
One of my all-time favorite thank-you emails came from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), with a link to a short video. The video features real TNC scientists around the world — not polished spokespeople — in their own countries, speaking in many different accents, saying “Thank you for helping to save (whatever natural area they work on).” It’s so genuine, and yet so easy to duplicate! See more thank you videos on my YouTube page.
2. Send a Postcard from Behind-the-Scenes
Several digital photo apps let you turn your photos into instant postcards (see Postagram or Touchnote, for example). What if your program staff took some photos during the course of their everyday work out of the public eye, and turned those into personalized postcards for your supporters? It’s hard to get more timely and personal than that.
3. Be Specific About How the Gift Is Being Used
Very quickly but clearly describe a specific program where the gift will be used. If you are fundraising for specific programs this will be easier than if you are fundraising for general support. But even then, you still need to give supporters a sense for what you’re doing with the money. You can use anecdotes as examples for how the money is being spent, or you can assure donors that their gifts are going to “where the need is greatest.”
4. Change Who’s Saying Thank You
If you have clients who benefit from programs funded by individual donations, ask a few clients to explain in their own words how your organization has changed their lives and to thank the donor for making it all possible. They write the letter, but you send it. Or ask board members to send a separate hand-written thank you note or even an email, as a follow-up to your “official” thank you letter.
Want a handy-dandy checklist you can reference quickly when creating your thank you?
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