Why Thanking Donors Will Pay Off Big in the End

UltimateDonations.org: Why Thanking Donors Will Pay Off Big in the EndYour event is over and what a success it was! You raised some much needed funds for your organization, in addition to awareness and good will in your community. But you can’t close the book on this event quite yet. There is still one more thing that needs to be done! You need to thank your donors.

Thanking donors is one of those things that can so easily get lost in the shuffle. By the end of your event your super exhausted, and probably ready to just be done with the whole thing. But I’ll tell you what. Thanking your donors will pay dividends in the end. But why?

Well, for one, it’s common courtesy. In the same way that you make your kids write thank you cards to their friends after receiving gifts at their birthday party, you should be writing thank you notes to organizations that provided your organization with a gift to be used at your event. After all, they don’t have to give to your organization… they choose to.

Another reason is because it keeps your organization in the mind of the business for when you solicit them again next year. I read somewhere that it takes six touches before a person feels connected to a non-profit—either through mailings, emails, phone calls, or other interactions. It’s much the same way with you and those businesses. You’ve crossed the first hurdle; they donated to your event and have already identified you as a worthy cause. But now you need to stay in the forefront of their mind. Remind them that you exist, your mission is a worthy cause, and that you are grateful for their generosity.

So now you know why, but how do you do it? Well, there are two things you should consider doing. When you get an item in from a donor think about making a call or sending off an email letting them know the item has been received. It can be quick and informal something like the following:

“Hi Bob, I just wanted to let you know that we received the collection of books you donated to the Patriots Little League Tricky Tray on November 12th. On behalf of the Patriots I just wanted to thank you for the donation and hope to see you at the event!”

See what I just did there? Not only did I just confirm that we received Bob’s item and thank him, but I took it as an opportunity to try to get him involved with our organization on a new level. Super sneaky! With any luck he’ll come to the event, spend a little money, see those adorable little sluggers’ faces and fall in love with our organization!

The next time you should be thanking your donors is after your event with a more formal letter. You should include information about your organization and the event, the when and where, and mention what the raised funds will benefit. Be as specific as you can, and consider drawing them in with a personal story. Bonus points if you can get the letter out within a week or two of your event (TIP: pre-write these letters and have them ready to go in advance so that after the event all you need to do is slip in the last minute information and hit print!) Check out the sample letter below.

UltimateDonations.org: sample thank you letter

Jaime
Media and Marketing at Ultimate Donations
Jaime is the conceptual mastermind behind UltimateDonations.org, a website that helps nonprofits find and request product donations for fundraising events. When she is not helping nonprofit events to reach their fullest potential, she's spending time with her two adorable girls, volunteering within her local community, and sneaking leftover Halloween candy when no one is looking.