Why it’s important to thank your supporters

As supporters respond to the Giving Tuesday Now campaign with selfless generosity, it’s vital that we not-for profits show our gratitude.

As we all adjust to the uncertain times forced upon our sector by the Covid-19 pandemic, thanking the ‘givers’ that drive the Giving Tuesday movement is particularly important.

There is no real footy without fans, and no not-for-profits without our kind donors.

If done properly, saying thanks might just be the easiest way to encourage larger donations and new donors. It can also help not-for-profits retain ongoing donors.

An earnest appreciative message is a useful way to build a personal connection with supporters and it will hopefully see their generosity continue in any future campaigns.

The more personal the thank you feels, the more effective it’s likely to be.

If you’re using videos or photos this is a great opportunity to involve the beneficiaries of your not-for-profit.

The beneficiaries of Music Viva Australia’s last Giving Tuesday fundraiser, the children of Ludmilla Primary School fronted the camera to thank donors, helped by their music teacher Sian Enderson. Their tweet is a lovely example of a heartfelt message that marks the end of the fundraiser and says thanks to the supporters who pitched in.

Saying thanks can also help fend off donor-fatigue.

Not unlike friends who only ever seem to get in touch when they’re in need of something, supporters can tire of or disengage from a one-way transactional relationship, even with a not-for-profit they care about.

Taking a moment after a campaign such as Giving Tuesday to acknowledge the contributions of donors and the success of the campaign will help nurture this relationship. Take a moment to reflect on what has been achieved before appealing for more.

The Centre for Eye Research Australia thanked their Giving Tuesday donors on twitter last December.

A well-written thank you to donors via social media, or something more personal like a phone call, letter or email should reaffirm why they donated in the first place and encourage them to give again. It’s important we retain consistent donors, as well as inspire new ones.

Knowing and trusting a not-for-profit is a “significant motivator” for most Australian donors, according to the 2019 Australian Communities Trends Report.

The report also reveals a positive donor experience is a key enabler for Australian givers.

And so, a humble thanks could mean a lot for your supporters and your not-for-profit.