How did your #GivingTuesday go? I’m hoping it was a great success from your perspective, but what about your donor’s perspective? What can you do to assure your donors feel like the heroes they are for making your mission possible?
Right off the bat, make sure you have a robust gratitude program in place. Thank them. Then thank them again. All through the year. The more consistently you practice gratitude, the better. If you don’t have a documented donor acknowledgment program in place, now’s the time to begin.
Whatever you do, don’t just stuff your “#GivingTuesday donors into your database, send out automated receipts, smack your lips and count up the results to report to your board. Really, truly make sure these folks feel thanked for having done something selfless and special.
Then, next year…
What about using #GivingTuesday as the pièce de résistance of your donor acknowledgment program? I wrote recently about making this a day to give back to your donors. Rather than ask them to give to you, why don’t you give to them? I noted that I also like the idea of shining a light on giving “help” and “service” rather than “stuff” or “money.”
I was happy to see two nonprofits who did this, and I want to share these examples with you.
Let’s begin with the Imagine Bus Project in Northern California, which provides experiences in the visual arts for at-risk and adjudicated youth (they used to send an actual bus to low-income schools that was filled with arts supplies and teachers; now it’s more virtual – can’t you just imagine?). They went the pure thank you route, and I bet they blew folks out of the water. In addition, at the end of their email was an invitation to a free event where they’ll have hors d’oeuvres, music and an opportunity to purchase some of the children’s art. What a nice way to demonstrate gratitude, and also potentially draw in some folks who may wish to become more invested in the future.
Giving Thanks on #Giving Tuesday
My next example is from JVS in San Francisco, which provides vocational services to help people build skills and find jobs to achieve self-sufficiency. They went the engagement route, listing ways folks can become involved with them other than by giving money. It shows they care about their supporters for more than just their wallets. And it’s a creative way to build stronger relationships that will hopefully lead to increased investment the next time they make an ask.
What do you think? If you have examples to share, I’d love to see them! And if #GivingTuesday was a great fundraising event for you, please share how you plan to evaluate your results to find out if the money raised was additional, or merely substituted for annual giving you’d have received anyway.
What are You Doing for Donor Gratitude Season?
Are you ready to respond promptly and personally to the onslaught of gifts you’ll receive this season? If not, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Because your thank you is what sets you up for your next gift. And it’s much cheaper to renew an ongoing donor than recruit a new on. So… get a leg up with my Attitude of Gratitude Donor Guide and learn how to put in place a full-blown acknowledgement program (Grab it here). And/or get my 48 Hours: Donor Acknowledgement Solution Kit (Grab it here). You’ll find both guides well worth your while – and worth much more than the few bucks you shell out for them now. If not, I’ll make a donation to your nonprofit!