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Giving Thanks

At every fundraising conference and in countless articles we hear that donors #1 complaint about charities is that they don’t say thank you or it takes them ages to acknowledge a gift. In North America, fundraisers are taught to thank donors at least 6 times a year. Even if they only give once. Canadians and Americans even have a national holiday dedicated to giving thanks!

What can we learn from our cousins across the pond? How can we thank our donors without going over the top and annoying them? It’s a tricky balance. Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog, has a great post about thanking donors and how one organisation, the Pride Foundation, have re-styled their Annual Report into a Gratitude Report.

Using your Annual Report as a ‘thank you tool’ is a great way of showing appreciation to your donors for their contributions to you over the yearLike the Pride Foundation, you can illustrate to supporters how they have helped you achieve your goals for 2009.

If a Gratitude Report isn’t really your thing, why not try a dedicated thank you page on your website? The Canadian Blood Services have created a thank you page to their blood donors and a thank you video to thank everyone who has donated blood (make sure you have a tissue nearby).

If none of these ideas fit your budget or your style, why not think about a thank you email or letter? If you’re an Artez or eDirectDebit user, it’s really easy to download a report of all your donors including their contact details and donations from 2009. You can use your email marketing tool to send a thank you email telling your donors what their donation has help achieve.  Thank you campaigns can also bring in new donations from existing and existing donors.

As Katya say: ‘Give credit.  It’s not enough to be grateful.  Give your donors the credit for everything you do.  Don’t say, “with your donation, we did xyz;” say, “you did xyz.”  Don’t say “we’re so great,” say “you’re so great.”  Tell your donors they are doing good works every day of the week through their support of you.  This turns donors into owners of your mission, and you can’t get more powerful than that.’

If you need help downloading your Artez donor data please contact Alex or Molly at artezsupport@rapidata.co.uk . For help downloading your eDD donor data, please contact Hilary at eddsupport@rapidata.co.uk.

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