Saying Thank You

Thanking your donors and clients is the most important thing you should do. But what's the best way to go about it?

It depends on the size of your organization as well as the time you have. However, even the smallest of charities should have a stewardship plan in place that allows them to thank everyone.

A thank you has power that will garner you many returns. And a thank you is a great way to reinforce your brand as well.

Here are the steps to thanking success:

1. Segment

You need to look at your client/donor list and determine who should receive what thank you. For example, if you have 500 donors and 450 of them give under $1000, but 5o give over that, you might want to consider singling out those 50 donors to receive something extra.

2. Determine what your thank you looks like

Is it a letter? A note card?

Letters are the most popular because they save time, however a form letter time and time again can seem impersonal to the donor. If you do use letters, remember to change up the thank you letter every once in a while to keep it fresh.

3. Budget for Time and Money

It's important to remember when you are budgeting for the year to include thank you letters for all of the responses you think you are going to receive. Also, the amount of time you have available will definitely influence how personalized your letters are going to be.

4. Determine the signer

Who signs the card/letter can have a lot of weight. For your major donors, maybe you want a board member or the executive director to sign it, for everyone else perhaps the fundraising officer.

5. Personalize

This is the most important. Nobody likes a letter that says Dear Sir/Madam. Make sure you have their correct name and address. This goes a long way.

6. Use your brand

Whether it's a letter or a note card, your logo should be prominently displayed along with your tagline or mission statement if it fits. This allows the reader to visually connect your brand with the warm feeling they received from being thanked.

Thanking your donors and clients is an extremely important part of the process, so don't forget to do it.

If you have time, consider sending out special thank you cards at certain times of the year, like Christmas, to your most special donors. They will definitely appreciate the effort.

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