When speaking about the five i’s (Identify, Inform, Involve, Invest and Impact) I suggest to those raising funds:
“If you change nothing else do more regarding the last ‘I’, Impact.”
What does that mean? Doing a better job of saying thank you and of sharing impact stories. Put another way, it means providing meaningful thanks to donors for gifts given.
A new study provides support for my supposition. Learning to Say Thank You: The Role of Donor Acknowledgements reinforces the need to think (and do) more about thanking. No time to read the report? Here are three ideas to consider:
1. Send a Thanksgiving letter or card (with Thanksgiving nearly over it could be a holiday card)
If it’s a letter be sure to include photos if you are able and tell an impact story (see below).
Can’t prepare a letter, why not drop by a local shop and purchase a pack or two of cards and jot short notes?
Better yet . . .
2. Call to say thank you. Make at least two calls this week, two next week, and so on.
3. Have a Thank You Fest. Does your nonprofit participate in Giving Tuesday or another giving day? How about having a Thank You Fest that day or in late December to thank year-end donors?
a. Recruit willing volunteers (it can also be staff),
b. Provide a short script and
c. Provide donor names and contact information (not gift amount) to the volunteer/staffer.
Gather everyone in a room with some refreshments and have them make calls or write thank you notes as gifts are made.
Have a November or early December Board meeting? Ask your board members to write five cards while they are with you.
What’s the most important thing to share in addition to saying thank you? An impact story! For example, a caller or a note might say:
“Thanks to your generosity a woman with two children all of which came to our shelter last evening had a warm, safe place to sleep and food to eat. Thank you!”
Thank you for reading and may you have much to be grateful for for in this season of thanksgiving.