Friday, September 23, 2016

7 Things That Bring Donors Long Term Satisfaction! #7 Thank You!

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 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! 

  • 95% of respondents would be appreciative if a member of the Board called within a day just to say thanks 
  • 85% would definitely support the charity again if this happened 
  • 86% would definitely give a larger gift
What donors want most: 
  • Acknowledgment 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 acknowledgment is critically important 
Great insights from the CD Nten Benchmark Report Final:
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 great one to click the goes into much more detail! (Section 3 Recognition and Personalization)
Giving appreciation in the form of a simple "Thank You!" is 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.
  • 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 is known for having large affairs of her own. She has a large house on a nice piece of property on a mountain close to the city)
    • Asked for help in creating a directory and mailing out invitations
Over 100 people showed up. In hindsight, I could have done more in promoting and engaging. (Social media was not as big back then!) It was exciting. It went well!
Why did I do it? To connect with people that were supporting me for a long time that hadn't seen me in awhile. 
  • It's hard and expensive to keep coming home to visit from West Africa. 
  • It was a personal connection using the skills I was best equipped with. 
  • It showed 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. I could add a personal touch to those who cared enough to support me over the years. I enjoyed it!
Without a simple "Thank You!" everything else may not be enough to bring donors long-term satisfaction.
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