As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, it always puts me in the mindset of what I am thankful for. My family, my friends, and my church are all at the top of my list. At Infinity Concepts, we are thankful for our staff, our clients, and the opportunity to make a difference in organizations around the world.
What is your organization thankful for?
One of the biggest things to be thankful for is your donors, but have you thanked them? Sure, you are probably sending them receipt letters thanking them for their donation, but have you shown them your appreciation? Some people hold banquets or send gifts of appreciation. One other way to approach this is through a simple Affirmation Letter Series.
An Affirmation Letter series is a series of several letters designed to express appreciation to your donors and inspire them to develop a stronger bond with your organization. Here are four things to consider in your letters.
- Appreciate your donors for their contribution
Everybody likes a thank you. I remember sitting down during my Christmas break when I was younger, writing thank you notes to all of my relatives for my gifts (this was obviously before the rise of email, texting, and social media). A donor who is unappreciated is a donor who disengages. If someone is not thanked, they feel unvalued, since their contribution was not worth acknowledging.
- Show your donors the results of their investment
It is always beneficial to talk about what a donor’s money is doing. How has your organization been a good steward of their investment? Tell them. How many children did you feed? What outreaches did you conduct? What is the expanded reach of your broadcast? It is important to help the donor feel that they are a vital component of your ministry.
- Share stories of changed lives because of their investment
One of the ways to share the results of their investment is by relating a story of a changed life. Personal testimonies are always an encouragement. By telling the story of one person, it brings a deeper connection between the donor and what you do. You may have helped thousands of people, but when you tell the story of one person, your mission comes alive.
- Affirm the desired behavior of your donors
What is the desired behavior? Is it to give more regularly or is it to give a larger one-time gift? Is it to have people enroll in a recurring auto-debit campaign? Once you have determined your primary desired behavior, begin to positively reinforce that behavior in order to garner their trust and continued support.
This Thanksgiving, be sure to appreciate your donors for their encouragement, prayers, and financial support. Remember that God uses people — but every good gift comes from our heavenly Father. Be sure to thank the Lord for His blessings, as well.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
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