All donors deserve recognition for they support they give, some though need another level of acknowledgement.
Most organizations seem to think the same thank-you is sufficient no matter the level of support received from donors, but this could be the wrong way to think.
The thank-you in a standard receipt will be seen by some donors as enough to keep them giving, and yes, organizations think this too.
But what if you changed your thank-you for various levels of support, could this help you retain donors and potential increase the level of support you receive?
In general, yes, support could improve, the amount some give could increase, it could also help improve how long donors stay with you.
As said before in It’s Not Horses for Courses – it’s important to tailor your communications to the various segments of your donor base, don’t use the same “speak” for everyone. And, it’s true too in how you thank your donors.
Some organizations will send a simple receipt, thanking donors for their support, while also saying what they have achieved previously and what the latest support will enable it to do.
Others will be selective in who receives what kind of thank-you; with some sending a certificate of appreciation and for higher levels perhaps a gift of some sort.
You need to see what works for your organization, and monitor feedback from donors; bearing in mind some donors may see the production of a cerificate as wastage, and others receiving a gift see that too as a waste of resources.
If you’re getting negative feedback, use this as an opportunity to talk with donors about what they would like you to do to say thank you.
There’s some organizations using video as a thank you message to donors, this can be really effective, timing is important, do you do the video at the end of the campaign, or during the course of it. I’d suggest taking into account that doing a video thank you during the campaign could help gain further support.
If you do a video thank-you, tie it into the work your organization does, use people who your organization supports if possible. Video can be a very powerful medium to use and, you don’t need state of the art equipment, even a reasonable quality mobile phone can produce video at a good enough quality to publish and share with supporters. (Who knows, maybe one of your supporters may offer to do future videos as another way they can support your work.)
Whatever means of thank-you you adopt, as said above, monitor it, and adapt it as needed, don’t do the same thing year in year out, this will become boring and people receiving the thank-you could switch off and not read/see any other message you have in the thank-you.
So, is it a thank-you receipt, certificate or video? It’s up to you, give it a try, you have nothing to lose, even try it for a short time; donors deserve your thanks.