Want to start the off on the right foot with your donors? Take the time to show your gratitude and to differentiate yourself in a way that advances your mission and deepens your relationships with donors. Remember: having a memorable thank you is the first step in retaining more donors.
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Try these three ways to wow your donors with your next thank you letter.
Show the impact.
Don’t lead with, “Thank you for your gift of $25 on December 5.” Lead with something that captures the true story of the impact. Lead with the success they are helping to achieve. That’s what the donor wants. They don’t want to know that you deposited $25 in your bank account on December 5. They want to know you are spending that $25 to make a difference in the world.
Open the door.
Share with your donors the other ways they can be involved with your cause. Invite them to an open house or participate in other programs. Educate them on what they can do in their own life to help your cause and if you have volunteer opportunities, let them know how to join in. Think of the different ways people can learn more about your organization and get even more involved in making a difference.
Let donors know when they will hear from you again. If you add them to your mailing list, make sure you have an interesting and inspiring newsletter. Don’t just start slamming people with a bunch of boring information and ask them for money all the time. Create a newsletter that that continues to engage people’s spirit and report back on the results they helped make possible. Plan ongoing updates that will let donors know about all the great stuff that they’re making possible.
Editor's note: This article was adapted from the webinar presentation "Why They Leave and How to Get Them Back" with Kivi Leroux Miller and Katya Andresen. It was originally published on December 27, 2012 and has been updated.