Ep 73 | Ways to Say Thank You to your Donors
What creative ways do you say thank you to your donors?
Don't forget in this season to ensure you're saying thank you to your audience. And you can stand out with all the noise by thinking out of the box and doing some fun thank yous. Pull your team together, listen to this episode and come up with some fun ways to thank you donors.
In this episode you'll learn:
→ What to think about before figuring out your thank yous.
→ Idea #1 – send a handwritten card.
→ Idea #2 – send a video message.
→ Idea #3 – do a broad thank you via social media.
→ Idea #4 – personalize messages for your top donors.
Want to skip ahead? Here are some key takeaways:
[3:.37] Send a handwritten card. I know it sounds simple but it can make a huge impact on your audience. Especially if you're sending it for no reason at all but just to say thank you and we hope you're doing well. It can even be virtual cards (see some programs below)!
[6:28] Send a video message or a video message. This can happen via Instagram or Facebook direct messages. Or there are several platforms you can utilize to send them via email.
[7:55] Use social media to thank the masses. A great way to do that is to buy a Starbucks card and share the code online so your followers can get a pick me up on you. You can control the cost of the cards.
[10:24] Create a custom experience for your high-end donors. Send them a Cameo video or a personalized gift to say thank you. Make sure you understand the cost of the gifts you're sending vs the amount that they typically donate.
[13:48] It's also important to stay in front of your audience. This could also be a revenue generating option, especially if you can't serve as many people in person at one time.
9 Ways for Non-Profits to Raise Money Online
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[INTRO] Hey there, Sami here with another episode of the Digital Marketing Therapy podcast. And today we're talking about some fun ways to say thank you to your donors. And, you know, I do think that you probably have a plan for how you want to do this in general, I really hope that you're saying thank you to your donors. But now I think it's such an important time to take advantage of just saying thank you for no reason, instead of it being like, thank you for donating to the annual fund or thank you for being a sponsor at our event, and, and all of that.
There's lots of fun ways that you can say thank you and really kind of make your donors feel special. And so I'm going to give you some digital and maybe some non-digital ways that you can say thank you. And I hope that it inspires you to think outside the box, get creative, and reach out to your donors and just thank them for all of their support of your organization.
But before we get to that this episode is brought to you by our guide “9 Ways for Non-Profts to Make More Money Online.” And I hope you'll download it at https://thefirstclick.net/fundraise, and really take advantage of some the ones that make most sense for your organization. And get out there and start making more money online because even though things are different things have changed. They're still an opportunity for you to reach your fundraising goals, and build your audience and grow even if you're only able to do it online. So https://thefirstclick.net/fundraise. I can't wait to hear what you think. Let's get into the episode.
[CANNED INTRODUCTION] You're listening to the Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.
[BODY] Okay, so we're talking about saying thank you. I don't think this is something you can do enough. And especially now I think it's really important because we can all feel a little bit stuck inside, we can feel a little bit, you know, frustrated. And to get that nice little thank you or to know somebody's thinking about us can really go a long way in us wanting to continue to work with that company or that organization, or whatever it might be. And so before you really kind of figure out which of these ideas you want to do, or how you want to go about it.
I really recommend that you take a look at your donor list and kind of come up with a different scale. So there's some of these that are going to make sense for a lot of your audience. And some that are going to be highly specialized and personalized that you're really only going to want to use for your top donors. So put a budget in place, put your list together and really figure out how much time money and effort you can put into this. But I do believe that it will come back to you and that you will get your money returned on it.
So once you have that done, you also want to make sure that you're enlisting your team. So if you're going to be reaching out to quite a few people, having team members that can help do that. So if it's your development team, if it's also members of your finance team, whatever that looks like tag-teaming the efforts so that one person isn't doing all the work will also be super helpful. Plus, it will just show your audience that you've got a whole team effort behind this and that it's important to your culture and important to your organization, that those that are involved are being appreciated and thanked on a regular basis.
So the first one idea that I want to throw out there is not a digital idea, but it's just a good old fashioned card, just sending a card in the mail and it doesn't even have to say thank you on it.
For example, there's an organization that we were previously involved with and we're not as much anymore, but they found out that my husband had unexpected surgery. And they sent us a card, handwritten card that just said, “How are you doing?” You know, we hope that you're doing well, if there's anything we can do to support you, please let us know. You know, and we're not like I said, we're not a paid member of that organization anymore. And they still took the time out of their day to say, we're thinking of you, we heard, and we just want you to know, we care. And that really meant a lot to us. And it meant a lot to my husband. And, you know, it definitely keeps that organization in the back of our minds. And you know, when we're able to kind of reengage, they're gonna be on our list. And so that was a very thoughtful idea. And, you know, these cards can be personalized with images of your kids that are part of your program or the animals that are part of your program or, you know, the environment, the you know, location that you're trying to support, you know, in environmental efforts around so you can use it as an opportunity to create awareness for your program as well. But what I would say with all of that these actually is make sure there's not an ask involved. The card literally just said, you know, we appreciate you thank you so much. We hope you're doing okay. That's it. And we you know, you don't want to have it be Oh, by the way, head on over here. And you can do you know donate yada yada yada I do believe that this will turn into donations, but we don't want to have that call to action in these. We just want these to be thank yous.
So unless your team divide up your list, send out personalized handwritten thank you cards. I think that goes a long way and is super cost-effective. If you want to go the digital route. There are lots of fun online greeting cards that you can do as well PaperlessPost, Blue Mountain, ecards, one of the ones that I love is JibJab, because you can put your faces on these fun dances and kind of send out these goofy little cards. So just depending on your audience and your organization, it might not make sense, but JibJab was super fun one that you can do as well. But remember, even if you're doing the electronic version, try to make sure that they are personalized as much as you can. Again, so people feel like you did this for them that you're not just doing it for the masses. So check those out. And I will put all of these links to these platforms. in the show notes at https://thefirstclick.net/podcast. So you can check those out if you have any specific ones that you want to click on.
Ok. Now another great free option is to do a video message or a voice message. And there's lots of ways that you can do this. And this is, you know, just, again, takes a little bit of time, but you can divvy it up but it makes such a big impact. So if you have a lot of audience members on Instagram, doing direct messages is a great way to have a video and voice message there could be through a text message. There's lots of great platforms called like loom Bonjoro and BombBomb where you can do video best as well and have them sent directly to their email, there's, you know, varying prices just depending on how many you're sending in and whatnot. So you'll want to take that into consideration.
But a super fun way to just show that you took that extra step like I was willing to just kind of take that extra step and send you a message. And I wanted it to be a video and I wanted you to know that it's from me, it's from the Board of Directors, or it's from the CEO or it's from, you know, somebody on the development team that worked closely with that person, whatever it is, I think video and voice is a great way to just show that you took that extra step and for a lot of these platforms completely free. So a great thing to just take advantage of.
Now, if you're wanting to do something more towards the masses and just kind of give a broad Thank you. I love the idea of doing a Starbucks gift card so you can purchase the gift card online, and then just share that code that gets scanned at their Starbucks on Instagram, on Facebook, whatever your social platform is, with a message that's just, hey, we wanted you to start your day, right? And we want coffee is on us this morning. And it's great because you can control the cost. And it's, you know, maybe it's 50 bucks that you load on there when the money is gone, the money's gone. So it's kind of a get it while it's hot situation. But because Starbucks is worldwide, it's a great option to do that. And just to kind of give a little, hey, we're thinking of you, we appreciate you so not as personalized, but also not as labor-intensive. And a great way to just let your audience know you're thinking of them, you care about them, and to kind of give them a little boost in the morning and a little uplifting messaging.
Now, the other idea that I have is, you know, opt in when we do these big galahs or these big events or run walk or whatever, we have swag or we have goodie bags, or we have things pulled together. So you might already have all of the pieces done for that and maybe you just couldn't hold your event. So send that gift to them anyway, like send the gifts to the people that were supposed to be at those events, send the T shirts out to the folks that were going to do the run, walk, and send them a little thank you note that just says, we appreciate you, you know, we're sorry, we couldn't hold the event. We can't wait to do it next year. But we still wanted you to have you know, these goodies that we curated for you.
I think especially if you were running a gala that had you know, a VIP section or high end swag, you definitely want to still take advantage and I wouldn't hold on to it till the next year, I would get it out, get it in the hands of the people that were supposed to be at the event and just say, you know, thank you for your support. We appreciate it and we're sorry that we weren't able to be together in person but we still want to do to have these lovely gifts.
It's great to to also send you know a message to the people that donated the product for those goodie bags and say you know, we are still sending these out to our audience members so that they know that they donated to you is still being used, and that they're still getting that recognition. So it's kind of a way for you to send the thank yous out to the donors, the sponsors that gave you the product for the swag bags and excuse for you to send a thank you to the donors. And hopefully, it will just be that thing to remind them that Yeah, you know, we were going to give to this organization and hopefully they come back around to make that contribution.
So the next round is a little bit more specific. So for your higher-end donors that you know, you really want to give a little extra love and attention to. There's a lot of fun things that you can do to really let them know like I'm thinking of you specifically. And one of those is Cameo. So Cameo is a platform where you can go research and search for specific celebrities. Depending on the celebrity they have a different price point but then you can give them some information and they will literally send somebody a 60 sec video saying like you know, hey, john, we heard your birthday, happy birthday or whatever. So you can give them a little bit of guidance, like, you know, could say, Hey, you know, we, you know, the Humane Society just wanted to say that they really appreciate all of the work that you've done for them. And so I just wanted to say thank you, I appreciate you, yada yada, yada. So again, takes a little bit of time might be a little bit more expensive, but can really be a really cool impact to show your donors like oh, yeah, they know me, right.
So for example, an organization I used to work for we had a celebrity golf tournament. And every year when we were trying to match up the foursomes with the celebrity, you know, we definitely had donors that were very particular and who they wanted to be with. And so knowing that information, I could go to Cameo and say, Okay, well I know that this person really likes this athlete, I'm going to try to pair them up or this celebrity so it can be a really fun way to just give them that extra extra special touch.
And then the other thing is it could, you might have some donors that are, you know, aging or are dealing with some health issues. And with COVID right now, things are a little bit crazy, right? So maybe you want to deliver them some, you know, staple food items or do something like instacart and send them some groceries, anything that can be super thoughtful to help them from having to leave the house, if they're kind of in a compromised situation. So that they, you know, are still being thought. They know they're being thought of, they know they can't come out. So maybe if you are open up, opened up in your state, and you are having events, but you have donors that you know, aren't leaving the house because they're at risk. You know, sending something to their home specifically that they can enjoy can also be really impactful as well. And it's super easy to do right now.
And then also thinking about what's unique to your organization? So maybe you serve kids, and you know that we're all stuck inside. And it's hard for us to be as active as we used to be. So maybe you take some of those donors that you know, have kids and you send them a subscription to, you know, an online fitness program for a month so that they can engage with their family, they can work out as a family and they can get fit, and it's in line with your business goals, right? Maybe you're if you're an environmental organization, working with people on reducing waste, maybe you're sending them your high end donors, a kit that says, here's, here's the things that you need to know to compost, or here's the things that you need to know about recycling. And we've got it all broken down for you, and here's how it goes. And we're going to pick up your recycling and make sure it's clean every month.
I don't know, just again, depending on your level of service and your high touch, but a way to really show them that you're thinking of them. You're supporting and you're in line with the branding and the goals of your organization.
[CONCLUSION] So those were just a few ideas for ways to say thank you that I thought were maybe a little bit different than what you'd heard about before and might be fun to do. I would love to hear the ways that you say thank you to your donors. And I know there's a lot of really fun and unique ideas out there. And so I'd love to be able to share those with the audience as well. So head on over to https://thefirstclick.net/podcast, check out the show notes for the resources, and then send me a message either on Facebook or Instagram at the first click marketing and let me know how you uniquely thank your donors. And I will definitely catch you in the next episode, but make sure you subscribe where you listen so you don't miss out and I'll see you in the next one.