We all understand, or should understand, that thanking your donors after your fundraising auction event has concluded is an absolute must. However, the way that you thank your donors for their generous contributions to help your cause is so very important. Many organizations simply send out a form letter showing what was purchased/donated and a generic message thanking the donor for their contribution. This is obviously a good idea for their tax purposes, but how personal is this for the donor and does it make them feel special?
Imagine being a donor that just gave $5,000 or $1,000 or $250 of your hard-earned money to a cause that you believe in and just receiving this form letter, which is really a must for tax purposes anyway. Do you feel special in any way? Do you feel that the organization values your participation in such an important event? Do you have any excitement or feeling of obligation to attend their next event? In some cases yes, but in most cases not really.
I suggest that you get together your entire board and staff and have a Thank-A-Thon party. Provide some food and beverages for your board and staff and start calling your donors on the phone. Spend 30 seconds to a minute explaining how thankful your organization is for their donation and how the funds will be utilized to better your cause. The purpose of this call is not to ask for anything but to simply thank your donors and inform them of how the funds will be or are being utilized to better your cause. If the donor does not answer just leave them a message, no need to keep calling until they answer. If you had 150 people give at your event then a board and staff of 10 people have to spend about 15-20 minutes each or about 15 phone calls each.
Most organizations do not do this simple step, so imagine how much this will put you in the minds’ of your donors versus other organizations that they give to throughout the year. Simply put, it makes them feel special and valued which can many times equate to future support.
Written by Mike Grigg, AARE, BAS