Ways to thank your donors

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Thanking donors is essential if you want to keep them! By thanking donors properly and reporting back on the impact and importance of their gift, you are more likely to receive additional gifts in the future!

If you are stuck for inspiration on ways to thank your donors, here are some of my favourite ways to say thank you;

  1. Hand-written thank you letters
  2. Picking up the phone and genuinely thanking them for their generosity without asking again
  3. Emailing them a quick update on the project they have helped make possible
  4. Inviting them to an event/to see our work in action/ to come to our office for a coffee
  5. Inviting them to be interviewed for your newsletter on why they give (many decline but like to be asked)
  6. Sending them hand-made photo cards of beneficiaries using our services
  7. Thanking them again after 1 year of giving
  8. Calling them to acknowledge when their regular gift has reached a significant amount (e.g. £1000)

Have you got any other ways you like to thank your donors? Do share them with me in the comments!

Make appeals donor centred!

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When writing to ask for money, any appeal letter should tell the donor what THEIR donation will do! Donors want to feel appreciated and that they are the one making the difference. Bragging about what you (the organisation) will achieve will not encourage a high return rate in gifts. Letting the donor know the impact of their generosity will have on your fantastic cause, will encourage gifts.

Top tips for writing an ask letter

  1. Use the word ‘you’ more than you use the words ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’.

A donor is not interested in all the things you are going to do, they want to know exactly how their gift will make a difference.

  1. Ask for a specific amount and explain why you need that amount

By asking for £25 from your donor, which will cover the costs for 2 children to attend an event you are running, you are asking for a clear and achievable amount for a specific reason. Having a vague target or just asking for support is a horrible position for a donor to be in; they want to know that the amount they give will have an impact and by giving them a guide you put their mind at ease and ultimately increase the chances of them making a gift. (Don’t worry about limiting larger gifts; often people give way over the ask amount, but it is good to provide a reference point!)

  1. Top and Tail the letters by hand!

This is a controversial tip, however in my own work I have seen a much higher return rate on appeals where I spent the majority of 4-5 days hand writing the addressee and sign off. It is the personal touch that matters to a donor and receiving a ‘dear friend’ letter that ends in a pixelated 10-year old signature does not inspire many gifts. Take the time to top and tail by hand and you will see a higher return rate.

  1. Thank donors properly

This is not really about the ask BUT once you receive a gift, make sure you thank the donor with a sincere and individual letter that tells them how the appeal is going and what their money will achieve. Thank them again when the project is over! By thanking donors properly and reporting back to them you increase the likelihood of them giving again.

Have you got any tips for writing appeal letters? Have you had any success by following these guides? Let me know in the comments below!

When you host a fundraising workshop for Trustees and they agree fundraising is as important as your cause!

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I recently hosted a fundraising workshop for our Trustees, as many of them are relatively new to our organisation and we needed a bit of a refresh around what we are trying to achieve. It was a fantastic session, where I was able to do a bit of myth-busting when it comes to Trustees getting involved in fundraising as well as make sure we are all on the same page!

I strongly emphasised how VITAL fundraising from individuals is to our longevity as an organisation and I was ABSOLUTELY THRILLED when they all agreed! It really goes to show that educating your board on the benefits of fundraising really will make a difference to how much they support your work! If you would like any tips or advice on doing a workshop with your board, please do get in touch by email!


Are you a ‘work slut’?

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Do you often feel like Rhianna? That all you do is ‘work work work work work work’? Is it possible that you are in fact a ‘work slut’?

I don’t mean someone that behaves promiscuously in the workplace and I don’t mean a workaholic! By ‘work slut’ I ask, are you taking on everything? Are you doing other people’s jobs at the expense of your own? Are you flitting from one task to another? If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may well be a work slut!

Being a ‘work slut’ is fine as long as you stay safe! 😉 It is great that you are a team player and that you are helping those who may be under pressure but make sure that when you are helping others and taking on more work, it isn’t stopping you from actually being productive! Stay safe and keep a list of priorities and deadlines to hand. By doing this you ensure that all of your important work gets done and that you are fitting additional things in while being realistic about what you can take on. (see my previous post on ‘Is this Fundraising?’ where I talk about urgent vs important work.)

In fundraising, lots is going on all the time; new projects starting and needing reporting back on, donations coming in and donors needing thanking, events on the horizon and guest lists needing monitoring! It is very easy to become a ‘work slut’ but by staying organised and focused you will stay safe and productive while also being a helpful team player!