There is no worse feeling for a donor than to feel unappreciated for the money or in-kind donations they have generously donated to a fundraising organization. At the very least, a heartfelt ‘thank You’ letter is in order. No doubt, however, that your organization can do even better. And you should. Because a little appreciation can go a very long way toward building a lasting relationship and ongoing fundraising support. Not to mention, it’s just the right thing to do.
Tangible Donor Recognition
An honest and sincere ‘thank you’ letter should be the very first thing you do to thank your donors. And while this is elemental and necessary, it may be not enough for significant donor support. Also, make sure to let others know how generous and caring your donors were – unless of course they’d like to remain anonymous.
There are some very good and lasting ways to publicly recognize donors, some of which may be built right into your fundraising campaign.
Popular donor recognition methods include:
Donor Recognition Plaques
You can either present a personalized and engraved plaque to the donor, or have a plaque made which lists all donors, perhaps at different levels of donation such as ‘Silver Donor’, ‘Gold Donor’, and ‘Platinum Donor’. Make sure group donor plaques are prominently displayed so that the public is aware of the donor’s support.
Each donor can be represented on a donor wall by having their names printed or engraved into a tile that is set as part of a large, lasting commemorative. You can also give donors the option of having a quotation or phrase engraved with their names.
Brick Fundraising Campaigns
Brick fundraisers take care of donor recognition within the fundraiser. During a brick fundraiser, individual bricks are sold for a set amount to donors. The donor’s name is engraved on the brick or on a plate set into the brick. The bricks are then used to build a lasting structure such as a garden wall, walkway, path, or section of a building.
For high-figure fundraising campaigns, donors can be presented with a gift of some sort which shows your appreciation. To make it even better, make the presentation public so that all can appreciate their good deed.
A good way to appreciate a lot of donors at once is to host a donor appreciation night or party of some sort. This way, you have a semi-public opportunity to show your thanks, and donors can co-mingle.
Great Donor PR
Good publicity is often the impetus behind charitable donations. Businesses and citizens want to be known as philanthropic and generous souls and organizations. They will happily give to boost their good name, but they want to reap the benefits. In the case of a business, the benefit is increased patronage. Send out news releases and ask local papers to write up an article detailing the generosity of your most avid supporters.
Donor recognition is an absolute necessity. Appreciating donors puts a great face on your organization and ensures continued support in the future.