A solid strategy to reach more donors and increase the average donation is key to increasing your revenue, but a stewardship strategy for after you've received support from a donor is just as important.
A stewardship strategy outlining how you’ll thank your donors makes a good impression for your organization, helps to build relationships with donors, and increases the likelihood that they’ll continue to support you going forward. In fact, research shows that a genuine, personal thank you note, received within 2 days of making a donation, increases the likelihood that a first-time donor will support you again in the future and they may even give more the next time.
A specific and personalized thank you can also be the first step in building a relationship with your donor which helps with retention. It's well-known that its easier and more cost-effective to retain an existing donor than to find a new one.
The raisin platform has a whole host of tools that make it easy to craft compelling and personal thank you messages to ensure that every donor is thanked, as well as tools to allow you to pin-point your biggest donors and recognize them more directly.
Automated and personalized Messages
raisin’s email template tools allow you to automate thanking your donors while also allowing you to craft personalized and specific messages of gratitude. While the default message included on the platform contains the donor’s name, amount, and a brief message of thanks, admins are encouraged to customize these messages to make them more specific to the organization and more personal for donors.
Merge fields allow you to include personalized information about your donor and their donation easily and automatically in the thank you message. Be sure to check out the list of available merge fields and make use of these.
Additionally, the message template offer a toolbar with all kinds of tools to allow you to craft a rich and compelling message with links, images, videos, and document files.
Engage with your major donors
Knowing who your major donors are and reaching out more personally to build a rapport or nurture a relationship can be a great way to retain these donors and build on donor lifetime value by making sure they know they’re important and valued. The Bcc email tool within email templates provides an opportunity to pinpoint your large donors for special outreach like a personal phone call or a hand-written note.
The raisin platform's scoreboards and widgets are also a great way to automatically acknowledge your top donors and top fundraisers in a campaign or event. The Scoreboard page can be renamed to something that expresses gratitude for donors and you may also choose to include a thank you message on this page above the table of top donors.
Customize your Success Page
Besides these tools to automate donor thanks and recognition, the CMS website builder allows you to create pages specifically to recognize and thank your donors. Consider filming and posting a thank you video message from leadership on your site or creating a page to share stories from your supporters, folks who have made large contributions, or who have supported your organization over many years.
Of course, of all these options, the most important is a sincere, specific, and personalized thank you letter for each and every donor. Make sure your message is specific and personal by using merge fields to include your donor’s name and the amount they contributed.
Express impact and gratitude
Another best practice is to make sure the donor understands how their donation will be used and the impact it will have on your mission. Include your mission statement and consider also including an impact statement or quotes from leadership and others about the impact of donations and the importance of donors. Let donors know their money is valued and put to good use with an impact statement and make a human connection by including quotes from real people.
You can also use your thank you letter to let a person who obviously connects with your mission and wants to support your organization know about other ways they can help, be that through volunteering, purchasing tickets for an event, or sharing your campaign to their social network. Particularly for first time donors, this is an opportunity to welcome them and begin building a relationship with your organization that will go beyond a one-time donation.
Effectively thanking your donors presents opportunities to express gratitude, lets donors know about your mission and impact, and build long-term relationships and having a gratitude strategy puts you in the best position to make the most of these opportunities.