Acknowledging Donors: 5 Easy and Affordable Ways to Say Thank You
A major component of a successful crowdfunding campaign is thanking your donors. An acknowledgement — given soon after a donor contributes — shows that you value the donor behind every donation.
Acknowledging supporters is the first step to cultivating better relationships with donors and will help set you up to receive future support. The time and effort it takes to show your gratitude is well worth the rewards.
If you want your acknowledgements to leave a memorable impression on your donors, you need to think outside the box.
We’ve got five ways you can say thank you:
- Letter or Email Acknowledgement
- Public Thank You
- Social Media Shout Out
- Donor Gift
- Website Appreciation Page
Put your personal spin on any of these ideas to show donors that you care!
Direct mail and email are the most common ways to thank your donors because you can send multiple letters at once. You can also thank your donors directly, giving you the freedom to personalize each letter.
With thank-you letters, you have plenty of space to show your appreciation and let donors know how the money will be used. Additionally, a letter is an acceptable place to provide donors with other ways to stay in touch or contribute to your cause.
Of course, you should address every thank-you letter with the donor’s name, but you should follow a few other best practices when creating your letters:
- Keep your content short and concise – Be conscious of your donor’s time and show your gratitude in a clear, simple fashion.
- Open the letter with a sentence that grabs your donor’s attention – If you want your donors to continue reading your letter, you need to hook them with the first sentence. Start with a story that conveys your message or ask a question that gets answered further in the letter.
- Focus on the donor’s contribution rather than your achievements – It’s easy to share your organization’s achievements and forget to mention the donor’s contribution. Remember to focus on your donors and how they’ve made a difference.
- Don’t ask for another donation – Your thank-you letter is not the place to ask for another donation. However, you can provide supporters with additional ways to keep in touch.
Don’t be afraid to really take your thank you to the next level either, your donors will notice and appreciate your efforts. For example, with direct mail, consider sending a thank-you package instead of a simple letter.
In addition to your letter, your thank-you package could include a small trinket that serves as a reminder of the gift your donor gave and a personalized certificate acknowledging the donor’s work.
Essentially, when it comes to thank yous, be creative and go the extra mile. Your hard-working donors deserve and will truly appreciate your display of gratitude.
As an added bonus, you can take your letters one step further and hand-write your acknowledgements. When donors receive handwritten notes, they’ll know that you spent time and effort to thank them.
:arrow: Pro Tip: Create a template that you can customize for each donor to help you save time. That way, you can send a personalized letter right after the donor contributes.
The public thank you gives you the opportunity to show your appreciation to all of your donors at once.
Nonprofits and individuals can publicly thank their donors at anytime, but this method works best at the end of a campaign when you can thank everyone for contributing to your cause.
Generally, you should thank individual donors with a letter in addition to posting a public thank you.
You can approach the public thank you in many different ways:
- Record a video of you and your team (if you have one) saying thank you.
- Take a picture with a thank-you sign or drawing.
- Post a thank-you update on your crowdfunding page.
- Create a plaque or engraved bricks dedicated to your donors (if your fundraiser involves construction).
Whichever method you decide to use, let donors know how much their contributions mean to you with messages that show why your cause is important.
Get creative with your ideas and add your own personal touch by using your talents to create a public thank you that shows donors how much you appreciate their support. For instance, if you enjoy photography, take a series of thank-you pictures and post them to your crowdfunding page.
Thanking everyone all at once is great way show your appreciation to the team of donors that made it possible to for you to reach your goal, and demonstrate that every donation, no matter the size, went towards a great cause.
Plus, it shows would-be supporters that you don’t just care about the money — you also care about your donors!
:arrow: Pro Tip: Post your public thank you in multiple locations and email it to your donors so that everyone receives your acknowledgement.
Very similar to the public thank you, the social media shout out is a public way to thank your donors — individually or together.
Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites are great platforms to show your appreciation because donors are likely to see your posts or comments. Sending a quick thank you on social media is a small gesture that shows you’re aware of every supporter’s gift.
Let’s look at some scenarios where you can thank your donors on social media:
- After a donor shares their donation – If a donor shares their gift online as a way to show their support or encourage others to give, you can send a quick thank you in the comments or share/retweet their post.
- To spotlight a donor’s contribution – You can create a donor spotlight or “Donor of the Week” series where you showcase one of your supporters. You can include their name, a picture, and a message thanking the individual for supporting your cause.
- When it’s time to share your public thank you – Along with sharing your public thank you on your crowdfunding page, you can also share it on social media.
Focus on thanking donors on a couple of social media platforms. When you focus on too many, you’ll spread yourself too thin and won’t be able to keep up with all the thank-yous.
Stick to the platforms where you have a strong following and that your donors are using most frequently.
:arrow: Pro Tip: If you decide to thank donors on social media, time management is key. Create a schedule of when you’re going to engage on social media so that you can connect with the most donors possible.
Bonus: If need help crafting the perfect social media message, check out this helpful guide.
Sending donors a gift is a memorable way to show your gratitude. A gift acts as a keepsake to reminder donors of the cause they supported.
Depending on your situation, you can gift your donors a wide range of items or make the gifts yourself.
If you’re not sure what to give, here are some suggestions:
- Branded merchandise (i.e. hats, t-shirts, water bottles, mugs, and stuffed animals).
- Appreciation basket full of handmade or bought items.
- Poem or song.
- And so much more!
If possible, pick a gift related to your cause or organization to keep your mission in your donors’ minds. Your gift doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. In fact, a thoughtful, simple gift can have more impact on your donors.
For example, let’s say that you’re raising money to help protect marine-life.
You decide to give your donors a seashell from the area you’re trying to protect. With your gift, you include a short handwritten note explaining the impact that their contribution will have with a story about a particular marine animal that will be protected because of their donation.
See how this gift is directly related to the nonprofit’s cause and builds an emotional connection in the thank-you note? Donors will remember the animal they helped every time they look at the note or seashell.
:arrow: Pro Tip: Choose a gift that is impact-driven, so that your supporters see value in your gift and feel a stronger connection to your cause.
If your organization or cause has a website, you can build a page dedicated to showcasing your supporters.
You can make your appreciation page a place where you highlight your supporters (much like you would on social media) or list your supporters names in the order they contributed.
Placing your donors’ names on your website is a centralized and permanent way to show your gratitude. Plus, you can share this page with your supporters throughout your campaign.
Donors will feel pride seeing their name posted along with other contributors.
Leave room on your appreciation page for a thank-you message. In your message, you should include information about how the funds will be used and the impact that these contributions will have on your mission.
You should create a website appreciation page as a way to thank donors in addition to one of the other ideas mentioned above.
Pro Tip: If donors don’t know about your page, they won’t see your thank-you message. Share the link to your appreciation page on your crowdfunding platform and social media accounts so that everyone knows it exists.
With these five ideas, you’re sure to find a way to thank your donors. Try one, two, or all of the ideas mentioned above.
The possibilities are endless, so get creative and come up with a way to thank supporters that is unique to you and your cause!
Need more crowdfunding tips? Check out the following helpful resources to get started:
- Sharing a Crowdfunding Campaign Tips. Looking for ways you can share your crowdfunding campaign with your supporters? Use the tips it our guide to help you.
- Crowdfunding Email Templates. Thanking donors through email is a popular method. With these email templates, you can learn how to market your campaign and thank your donors.
- Crowdfunding Campaign Examples. If you’re looking for more inspiration on how to thank you supporters, check out these crowdfunding examples.