If you've missed the introduction start here: Charitable Giving: 7 Things That Bring Donors Long Term Satisfaction!
Finishing out strong with a proper THANK YOU! is always necessary and yet, surprisingly, over 21% of supporters reported they were never thanked! (see source below)
In the What Donors Want Research conducted by Cygnus applied Research, Inc./Burk & Associates LTD we get a clearer picture of the importance of showing appreciation:
The Power of THANKS!Great insights from the CD Nten Benchmark Report Final:
- 95% of respondents would be very appreciative if a member of the Board called within a day just to say thanks
- 85% would definitely or probably support the charity again if this happened
- 86% would definitely or probably give a larger gift
What donors want most:
- Acknowledgement that the gift was received and you were pleased to get it. Private, direct, one-on-one communication is best, usually following a gift. 92% of those surveyed said that acknowledgement is critically important
Regarding acknowledgments, 30% of donors reported being thanked immediately after giving a donation, and 18% reported that organizations reiterated their gratitude several times per year, or at least annually (17%). Surprisingly, a significant number of donors (21%) reported that they were never thanked.The Donor Loyalty Study shows the two best "Thank You!" responses were:
- Personalized thank you note sent to their home (92%)
- Personalized thank you email (92%)
- This study is a really good one to click the link...it goes in much more detail! (Section 3 Recognition and Personalization)
Giving appreciation in the form of a simple "Thank You!" is fairly easy. Can you think of any possible reason why we would fail this one simple task?
After my first 5 years of volunteer work with Mercy Ships I went home and threw the biggest "Thank You!" catered dinner party I could for my donors. Inviting over 300 people! I didn't even use this party for another money "ask". How did I do it?
- Saved back enough money for the food & beverage purchase while working a paid job
- Paid for a nice invitation card to be made.
- Asked for help:
- Invited a fellow chef and his family to come and help me prepare it (and he came from out of state!)
- Asked a close friend of mine to open up her house for the party (she was known for having large affairs of her own, having a large house on a nice piece of property on a mountain close to the city)
- Asked for help in creating a directory and snail mailing out invitations
About 100 plus people showed up. In hindsight I could have done a little more in promoting it and engaging socially. (Social media was not as big back then!) I was excited. It went extremely well!
Why did I do it? I spent time walking around and connecting, again, with people that were supporting me for a long time that hadn't seen me in awhile(it's hard and largely expensive to keep coming home to visit from West Africa). It was a personal connection using the skills I was best equipped with to show true appreciation beyond the "Thank You!".
What is your expertise? What special thing could you do to show appreciation beyond a simple "Thank You!"? To me, this was something fun that I could do to add a more personal touch to those who cared enough to support me over the years. I enjoyed it!
Without being appreciated, without a simple "Thank You!" the other 6 things that bring donors long term satisfaction may not be enough.
Thank you for your time and reading this series of posts!
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