According to an article in the Journal of Economic Psychology, saying thank you can actually have a negative effect on your relationship with a supporter.
The researcher notes that gifts, in particular, “reduce feelings of altruism” causing your expression of gratitude to backfire in your face. Instead, he suggests you make sure to reframe the gift so your supporter feels that their acceptance of it ensures that they are remaining consistent with their values and altruistic motivations.
For instance, a gift of a mug with your logo might be rejected at first. But if you frame it with emphasis on how it can help the donor express their support or how it could aid your organization’s awareness-building efforts, then they’d feel much better about accepting it.
Can you help add to this list?
The standard acknowledgement letter (of course)
A letter from you.
Another letter from the Executive Director.
Yet another from a Board Member.
And, how about a letter from a person who benefited from the gift?
A call and a voicemail message from you.
A call and voicemail message from the Executive Director.
Yet another call and voicemail message from a Board Member.
And, how about a call and voicemail message from a person who benefitted from the gift?
For instance, ask them to come by for a visit or tour.
Invite them to an event.
Ask them to take a trip with you to see the impact of their gift.
And, of course, ask if you could visit with them at a place that is comfortable for them (i.e.- their home, their office, a restaurant, a coffee shop, etc.)
Send a photos or emails from the field
Invitations (although they might not accept them, everyone likes to be invited)
Ask them if they’d like to join an elite group (or giving level)
Invite them to participate in an exclusive dinner, lunch or event that proves impact or provides other benefits (such as a sense of community)
Propose mentioning them at an event
See if they’d like to be on a list in the annual report
Perhaps they’d like you to include them on a donor wall or some other prominent mention
Certificates or awards
Send a nice recognition certificate along with your letter signed by your leader(s)
Coffee table photo books
Social media channels:
LinkedIn (direct InMail)
Twitter (direct message)
Subscribe to our blog today and get actionable fundraising ideas delivered straight to your inbox!