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Say Thank You


Nonprofit organizations are unique in many ways. Firstly (and most obviously), nonprofits work for reasons other than generating profit – hence the name, “nonprofit.” These are charitable organizations raising money to help various causes in different ways. One might be to house and feed the homeless, while another may be helping veterans get the healthcare they need, or even buying holiday gifts for low income households. Some well-known examples include the Salvation Army, the Humane Society and the Red Cross among others. These organizations are mature and financially secure, but, smaller nonprofits, ones that aren’t as well established and widely recognized, typically have a harder time maintaining a secure financial status. One thing they may need to consider is how they say thank you.

Saying thank you is always the right thing to do, in any situation, but particularly if donations of either time or money are involved. Because many nonprofits rely solely on donations, building and maintaining relationships with donors is extremely important. And what better way to start a strong relationship than by thanking your donors? It’s relatively easy and very worthwhile.

Thanking your supporters shows that you value their donation and recognize that they are giving (many times, without getting something in return). And thanking your donors makes them more likely to donate again. No really.

In a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and the Harvard Business School, 66% of people said “yes” to helping a student for a second time after receiving a personal thank you. This is compared to only 32% of people saying “yes” to helping a second time without receiving a thank you. That’s more than double! Especially when you consider acquiring new donors costs more than retaining existing donors, it’s easy to see that saying thank you truly pays off.

There are many different ways to say thank you ranging from a generic auto-response “Thank you!” window, to a handwritten note, to a personalized video. And guess what? The more individualized and unique the thank you is, the more likely you’ll get a positive reaction and more donations in the future *pretends to be shocked*. Brainstorm with your creative team about how you would like to be thanked for your time or money and then create the best version of that to send to your donors. They’ll thank you for that with future donations.

The number one reason that donors stop giving to organizations is that they feel their contributions aren’t making a difference. Use your thank you to explain that their contributions most certainly are helping make a difference! This will help motivate and encourage them to give again. Remember to have a strong relationship with your donors you need to retain them, a simple “thank you!” could be the answer to keeping them happy and willing to donate again.

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