With Thanksgiving right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start thinking strategically about how to express gratitude to the partners who help make your work possible. Expressing gratitude to your donors, board, volunteers, and vendors is an important way to build relationships that will last and grow over time.
Over the past ten years, we have seen gratitude practiced in the nonprofit sector in some creative ways. Here are a few things to remember when it comes to expressing your thanks.
Incorporate Your Mission
The most impactful way to say thank you is to help your donors feel a connection to those they have helped. Does your nonprofit serve children? You could incorporate a drawing from a child that was helped by your organization into a handwritten card. You can also tie a talking point into a thank-you note from your organization. For example, “With your support, animals like Daisy were able to find their forever home.” At one event for a nonprofit that helps children with disabilities in Nepal, we handed out handmade bookmarks to all donors who made any donation, big or small. The bookmarks were made by a young girl in Nepal and it took her four hours to make each bookmark. It was a small item but the intrinsic value to donors was immeasurable.
While thank-you cards and emails are important, we invite you to get creative when thinking about ways to express your gratitude. Just as different elements in your fundraising events can create a WOW moment and leave people excited about your mission, a creative thank-you can do the same.
A video thank-you is a powerful way to share your message of gratitude. To make a video you do not have to hire a professional videographer; you can get great results with a smartphone. Most smartphones shoot high-quality video and have built-in editing software. A video message will go a long way to make people feel a connection with their gift of time, money, and effort.
Nonprofit events are often luncheons, galas, or other fundraisers. However, there is an alternative: a friendraising event. The purpose of a friendraiser is to make your supporters feel like valued members of your community,
Hosting a friendraising event is a great way to show your gratitude. We recommend small-scale, intimate events that allow guests to mingle with your staff, board members and each other. Bonus points for events that double as a way to help your nonprofit: a planting event for a local garden with some light farm-to-table food being served, or a wine tasting event where guests make small packs for the homeless.
Plan time during the event for board members to take a moment to express their appreciation. The most important thing to remember is to keep it mission-based and be sure that gratitude for the valued members of your community is at the heart of this event.
If you are interested in learning more about the best way to express gratitude to your donors, click the link below to set up a 30 minute consultation call.