On February 14th, we show our love to those closest to us. And what better day is there to show some love to those who support your nonprofit the most? Below are seven ideas that go above and beyond the simple “thank you” email to show your supporters how much you appreciate them
1. Send (handwritten) thank you’s
Here at CrowdRise, we know how much a single thank you can mean to a donor. Thank you’s make your donors feel instantly appreciated, and the faster you can get out a thank you once a donation is made, the more impact it will have.
To take it a step further, a good, old-fashioned handwritten thank you goes an extra-long way, and is a must for your big donors. What’s a “big” donation for your organization? You decide, and give all those who donated over that threshold a physical card with gracious thanks.
❤ TIP: Have a group of donors who are more electronically-inclined? No problem. You can automatically thank your donors right from your CrowdRise campaign dashboard with a simple click of a button, then follow up with a personalized message of your own. That way, you ensure your message reaches your supporter’s most up-to-date email in electronic super-speed.
2. Give shoutouts on social media
Giving spontaneous shoutouts on social media is a great way to show your gratitude for a fundraiser or donor who is making a huge difference for your organization. Have a fundraiser who started their own campaign on your behalf? Give them a nod on Facebook or Instagram to give the recognition they deserve. Doing so will definitely encourage others to follow in their footsteps.
In your shoutout, make sure to tag them, state what they’re doing to help your nonprofit, and even share a photo (or two) to express your gratitude. Don’t have social media? Send a shout-out in your next email blast or snail-mail newsletter.
❤ TIP: Use optimized social sharing on our new campaign pages to easily share your supporter’s good work with the click of a button.
3. Create a donor spotlight on your nonprofit’s website
Similar to the shout-out on social media, giving your most prolific donors a semi-permanent space on your nonprofit website is a great way to highlight your best and most loyal supporters. Consider creating a rotating “Featured Donor” or “Donor Spotlight” section right on your homepage that shows the individual’s impact on and connection to your nonprofit.
❤ TIP: When crafting this page, reach out to your VIP supporters and ask for a quote or statement to get them involved in the narrative and feel extra acknowledged for their continual dedication.
4. Host an FAQ session or webinar to connect with fundraisers and let fundraisers connect with each other
Customer service is extremely important to any organization, and nonprofits are no exception. To show your supporters that you’re invested in them and find their opinions valuable, hold an FAQ session, webinar or forum to address any ongoing questions about donating or fundraising and gather feedback.
❤ TIP: A webinar is a relatively low-cost and easy way to connect with a ton of people at once. Invite all previous fundraisers or long-time supporters to join for an inside look at your organization's operations, future initiatives, and other ways to get involved.
5. Showcase how you've used donations
One of the single most important things to donors is knowledge of where their money goes within your nonprofit. That’s why tangible giving tiers work so well; donors can easily conceptualize where their dollars are headed and see the direct impact they’re making by clicking “Donate.”
Consider your last campaign... what was your organization able to accomplish with the funds you raised? What demographic were you able to help? How did your donors’ dollars help grow your organization or help grow your impact? Answer these questions and include this info in your future correspondence with your supporters.
❤ TIP: Create an infographic to show how donations were used by your nonprofit and send it along with your digital thank you for double the impact, and to develop an even better rapport with your supporters.
6. Hang a plaque, etch their name on a donor wall, carve their name on a brick
Donors make up the core foundation of your nonprofit. Where would you be without them? This sentiment can easily be expressed with a physical object — something that the donor could show off to friends and family proudly, like a brick in your headquarters, a plaque on the office wall, or a name on the side of your company truck. This is a great physical yet symbolic way to commemorate the lasting effect donors have on your nonprofit.
❤ TIP: This method of appreciation can also work as a great incentive to fundraise. Consider creating “fundraising tiers” on your next campaign where your supporters can achieve tangible milestones and be rewarded with an item that acknowledges their support.
7. Host a Thank You Event
One final way you can demonstrate your gratitude towards your supporters is by hosting a live event, such as a happy hour, meet-and-greet, or campaign wrap-up celebration. An invite to an event is a great way to give your supporters an opportunity to have fun and mingle with others who support the work you’re doing while also coming out to show their support for your cause. Try not to use this time to ask for more donations, but to genuinely appreciate and give back to those who support your nonprofit. Make the event about them and all the good they do for your cause.
❤ TIP: Use the time at your live event to connect your donors or fundraisers to each other. Consider pairing a veteran fundraiser with a first-timer, or introducing the donor who contributed the matching gift to the fundraisers who leveraged it. Work to move your virtual community into the real world so they’re even more likely to continue their support in a multitude of ways.
This Valentine’s Day, give a little love to those who show so much love to you over the year. Take advantage of this opportunity to recognize those who help keep your nonprofit thriving. We hope you use these seven ideas to show how much your supporters mean to you and your organization, and to keep them coming back to support your mission for years to come.