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  • Writer's pictureMark Talcott

Do I really have to say THANK YOU?

Thanking donors just might be the most important step in fundraising. It lets the donor know you received their gift and it is a critical part of the parish and parishioner relationship.

Unfortunately, many non-profits and churches do a poor job thanking donors. This can cause the donor to feel as if their gifts do not matter and eventually lead to less giving over time.

Some of us are even guilty of using the same stuffy, uninspired thank you letter year after year or just sending the year-end tax statement in January as a donor acknowledgment. Maybe it is just human nature, but it sure can feel difficult to say thank you sometimes!

A common element in non-profits that are seeing increases in giving year-over-year, is a robust thank you strategy. These places are making the donor feel good about their involvement and donations they make.

Here are a few suggestions to boost your approach to thanking donors.

1. Put the time in. The thank you letter should not be an afterthought. Next time you are writing an ask letter, try putting the same amount of time into the thank you letter. Put the time into the thank you letter to make it meaningful to the donor. It should pull on those heartstrings and make the donor feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

2. Personalize it. Use data merging to add the donor names to the letter. Try to stay away from phrases like "Dear Friend" to start letter. Sending a generic letter tells the donor you do not know who they are. It is also great to hand write a quick note on the bottom of thank you letter, with a bit of personal info you know about them. For example, "Thank you so much for your gift! I hope you dog is doing better after eating those shoes!"

3. Human element. Remember to tell the donor how their gift is making an impact. Think about the personal angle. You might be raising money to replace a roof on the church, but remember the money does more than fix the roof. It provides a dry, safe place for people to worship and be cared for.

4. Contact info. Tell the donor you are available for support and tell them how to reach you.

For more information, you can checkout this article.


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