Monday, October 7, 2013

Keeping Your New Donors!

Hooray!  Your conversion strategies worked swimmingly and you’ve received a glorious gift from someone who has never given!

No matter the giving level, you can do many things to thank and ultimately, retain this donor:

  • Yes, send the standard thank you letter.  Of course you would do this.  Personalize the text of the letter and hand-write a brief note.
  • A couple days later, send a hand-written thank you note, that’s personalized and customized
  •  Call to thank
  • Email a thank you – especially Gen Y or donors without phone numbers, but with emails
  • Text a donor, if you have the phone number and a ‘texting relationship’ with the person (or again, Gen Y)
  • Send a welcome/thank you email or letter => share how can your donors learn more, or understand your full scope of work, or become more engaged/volunteer
  • Invite to a free program/event
  • Have a Board Member write a note/make a call of thanks
  • Invite to a program milestone
  • Invite for a tour
  • Invite to volunteer
  • Send a thank you card from your recipient/client
  • Send photos of people you’ve impacted (or include photos in the welcome thank you email or letter)
  • Email or mail a survey; maybe you’re a multi-issue organization and want to find out your donor’s priorities?
  • If the gift is above a certain level, invite to an event for free or a lunch with your ED/Chair.

Spread these out a bit – don’t bombard your donor within 12 hours of their contribution. 
But don’t deliberately protract your thank yous over several months.  You can certainly follow up in a few months to invite the donor to a program milestone and include a thanks, but don’t send a welcome email four months later. 

Your touch points several months later are part of recognizing and cultivating, not explicitly thanking.

And, customize your response to the donor’s giving; we immediately reply to online gifts with impactful and personalized thank you emails. 

Yes, we follow up these emails with “standard” thank you letters and hand-written notes, but you were pinged with the donor's contribution, so take a hot second to share your appreciation. 

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