Six ways to thank new (and repeat) donors at your association

You’re already aware that donors play a crucial role in your association’s fundraising success. Proper donor stewardship is vital to your organization hitting its financial campaign goals. Saying “thank you” is the key to fostering healthy donor relationships. 
 
But do your donors know just how much your organization appreciates them? We’re here to help you elevate your donor relationship with six valuable tips.

Why should your association thank your donors?

1. Show you care 
Thanking your donors ensures that your organization appreciates all financial supporters and is the key to effective donor stewardship. When you say “thanks, you strengthen the relationship between a donor and an association, building greater trust and a stronger connection. 
 
To nurture your donor relationships, check in on your donors, sending them thank you notes and updates on your campaign. Donor updates work to both build rapport with your organization and strengthen the donor connection with your mission and goals. 

2. Vocalize donor impact
The more you thank your donors, the more you’ll keep your fundraising campaigns top of mind. Additionally, as you thank donors early and often, you’ll emphasize their impact on reaching your fundraising goals. Keeping your organization’s gratitude consistent with thank you notes, and financial updates will remind donors of all they’ve done for your cause. These demonstrations of appreciation highlight the importance of each donor in supporting your fundraising efforts.

3. Create repeat donors
When you sincerely thank new donors, it makes it more likely they will give again to your organization. Every time an individual gives, ensure you follow up with a thank you and details reporting how much their gift contributed to your financial campaign, exactly where the funds will go, and more.

Including these important financial details will help to build transparency and trust in your organization. When new donors see where their money is going, they’ll feel like they’re part of a larger mission and will be more likely to give to your next campaign.

4. Increase your non-dues revenue
Appreciating your new and repeat donors drives association non-dues revenue. An instant thank you email or phone call to a new donor will increase their next gift by 39%. Thanking repeat donors also helps to boost future gifts. Your donors like to be thanked for their financial gifts—ensure your association demonstrates your appreciation to drive non-dues revenue. 

How can your association thank new and repeat donors?

1. Social media shout out
Show your donors you care by highlighting them on social media. Be sure to shout out individual members and post a general message of thanks about how donors helped you reach your financial goal.

When you highlight an individual donor, consider telling a story about why they chose to give. If you post a general thank you, try to include impactful statistics about your financial campaign. In each post, include relevant photos, images, or graphs, to further elevate the donor story.

2. Leverage your online community
Did you know that your online community can become a valuable platform for donor stewardship? Create a dedicated page or channel to shout out donors and thank them for contributing to your ongoing campaigns. Use the space to share donation stories, pictures, and impactful fundraising statistics.

Encourage donors to contribute to the discussion by asking them why they chose to give. Hosting a dedicated page in your online community will also remind donors of their financial impact.

TECH TIP: With the Nimble AMS online member platform, Nimble Communities, you can thank your donors for their contributions to your financial campaigns. Use Nimble Communities to build a culture of donor appreciation and foster your donor relationships.

3. Send a personalized thank you  
New and repeat donors will feel appreciated when you include a personal touch in your association’s thank you. Do so by leveraging technology that automates the thank you process and includes personal details about the donor like their name and financial contribution. 
 
Further elevate your organizations thank you process by having staff write handwritten notes. Handwritten thank you letters add a personal touch to your fundraising strategy. Additionally, when a donor receives a handwritten note, they’ll understand it took effort and time to create. 

TECH TIP: Leverage Nimble Create to automate your donor communication process. With Nimble Create, your staff can build branded templates to deliver personalized thank you notes or financial updates to your donors, all with clicks, not code.

4. Contact your donors
Did you know that a three-minute phone call can boost new donor retention by 30%? Try directly contacting your donors with a quick call to say thanks. You can also contact new and repeat donors via text to nurture the donor relationship and build a connection with your organization.

5. Feature donors in your annual report
Use your annual report to celebrate your donors. Include a section that features a list of new donors, repeat donors, and sponsors. Consider highlighting individual donor stories, photos, or graphics to show the impact of each donor in your fundraising campaigns.

Looking for more tips on how to take your association’s annual report to the next level? Check out our free whitepaper: Simplify annual reporting with innovative technology for best practices and vital tips!

6. Recognize donors at events  
At your next fundraising event, set aside time to acknowledge both new and ongoing donors by having them stand and be recognized by all attendees. Be sure to ask donors before you acknowledge them publicly for their financial gifts. Some might prefer to keep their gifting anonymous, however, they will likely appreciate coming to an event that thanks donors.   
 
You could also consider waiving the event fee for all donors, as another way to show your organization cares about their gifts. Additionally, during the shout out portion of the event, consider inviting donors to speak about their experience with your association.  
 
You could also try hosting a special keynote event or luncheon to honor your donors and feature a VIP area where donors can sit. Take pictures of the event to feature on your website, social media, and online community and further recognize your donors’ contributions.    

Discover more tips to engage with donors in your fundraising campaigns

To nurture new donor relationships, it's vital to show you care by saying “thanks.” Discover more ways to engage with donors by downloading our free whitepaper: Five tips to attract new donors and increase non-dues revenue.

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