“Thank You” letters are a wonderful tool in expressing gratitude and making other people feel great about themselves. For fundraisers, these thank you letters have the potential to carry a much more powerful role. As modern society has created a customer service culture where being polite is a basic level of service, there is a different level of etiquette required when dealing with people who are willing to donate towards your cause.
Recent fundraising experts have identified a drastic change in the timeliness of thank you letters sent out over the past 15 years. As the majority of thank you letters may have taken 1-2 months to be received back in 2000, researchers have found that 63% of thank you letters are now being received within two weeks of a donors contribution. Acknowledging a donor’s gift with a prompt and meaningful thank you letter expresses immediate gratitude while the generous act is still fresh in their minds. It is also worthwhile to note that 41% of donors who received thank you letters ended up making the decision to donate again, with 24% of those repeat donors deciding to make a larger donation in response to the impact of their letter.
Today’s generation of donors expect charities to maintain a certain level of transparency with regards to their fundraising and allocation activities. As the “Civic Generation” (born before 1945) were more likely to respond to a donation reminder with loyalty, generations since (including the Baby Boomers, Generation X’ers and Millennials) prefer to give when they feel personally engaged with a non-profit fundraiser or charity. Modern donors want to see that their contributions are actually making an impact, so providing progress updates, next steps and any additional information within your thank you letters will be very well received. By going beyond the simple “thank you” and letting your donors know how their donations have played towards your common goal will keep them in the loop and make your donors feel as though they are a part of the process, as opposed to donating blindly.
Giving Gateway’s online donation and peer-to-peer platform offers a quick and easy solution for fundraisers to fire off a quick note of thanks to those who have supported their cause. With seamless integration to your website, the convenience of reaching out to your donors in real time not only eliminates the concern for timeliness, but bridges a personal connection with their supporters that extends beyond the donation. Being able to make your donors feel valued in the grand scheme of things is a very powerful component of building trust and loyalty – so work diligently to provide your donors with prompt, personal and informative thank you letters on a regular basis. The payoff will be well worth it for all!