By Steph Drahozal, Marketing Assistant, Salsa
As a nonprofit professional, you know that sending a thank you email within a day or two of someone making a gift is critical. Not only is it polite and keeps your organization fresh in their mind, but it helps them know they are important to you and that their gift contributes to you completing your nonprofit’s mission.
But the thank you email goes beyond that. It is the first step in building a long-term relationship with a potential new supporter. By emailing them in a timely manner, it keeps communication regular between you and your donor. It keeps your list active, engaged, and more likely to grow and support your goals.
When emailing your donor, make the tone personal so they know you are genuine. Use the donor’s name, keep a friendly tone, and use examples as to how the donation is being used. The note should be donor focused rather than organization focused. You should tell them “here’s what YOUR gift will accomplish” as opposed to “here’s how WE are going to spend your gift.”
Acknowledge the donor’s past giving if applicable. If it is their first donation, welcome them and introduce your organization while providing them with other ways to get involved.
If you’re using an automated system, like Salsa, you can set timed responses to help you reach out to donors. These timed responses include once or twice a year reporting back to your donors on the impact of their gift (maybe one on Thanksgiving telling them how thankful you are for them!). You should also set up about 4-6 emails after the thank you note to truly engage them before you make another ask. Focus those 4-6 emails on gathering information, educating and involving donors in areas that matter to them.
From thanking your donors to making the next ask, timed reminders are crucial to keep your donors engaged and in a positive relationship with your organization.
To learn more download our free ebook, The Essential Guide to Growing Your Online Support for Nonprofits. This new guide helps you connect and engage with current donors, volunteers and activists, and tells you how to reach out to new supporters using the online tools and content you’ve probably already got in place. It covers things like storytelling and choosing the best message for each medium, but also goes into things you might not know a lot about yet, like SEO, SEM and leveraging text messaging.