When’s the last time you received a heartfelt thank you? Chances are, whenever it was, that you remember it very fondly. That’s because a “thank you”, no matter what form it comes in, acknowledges your time and effort and makes you feel great! In fact, we’d be willing to guess that those small gestures of gratitude made you more willing to help again in the future. That’s why we think nothing beats a genuine supporter thank you.
Taking the time to thank supporters is something all group leaders, teachers, and fundraising organizers want to do, but, often, it’s hard to find the time to give each support the genuine “thank you” they deserve. After all, you’re balancing a huge workload and limited resources. However, we’re here to help you make this task a little more manageable, so you can move it to the top of your to-do list. In this post, we’ll explore some simple, easy ways that you can thank your supporters and show them how important they are to your group.
5 Easy Ways to Thank Your Supporters
1. Thank-You Letters and Handwritten Notes
At the top of our list of ways to recognize supporters is the classic thank-you letter. Personalized, handwritten letters and notes are timeless ways to convey gratitude. Take the time to craft messages that go beyond the generic and highlight the specific impact of your supporter’s contribution. Mentioning how their support has made a difference adds a personal touch that is bound to show your supporters their worth to you and your group. A handwritten note or letter also makes you stand out from the crowd by showing you’ve invested time and thought into expressing your thanks. In a world filled with digital communication, the sincerity of a personalized, tangible message is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on your supporter.
If you’re looking for tips on what to include in your letter and some examples to get you started, we have you covered. Check out our blog post Tips on Writing the Perfect Thank-You Letter for a complete guide on writing thank-you letters to your supporters.
2. Social Media Spotlights
Harness the power of your online platforms to shine a spotlight on your supporters. Craft posts that tell their stories, emphasizing the positive impact they’ve had on your cause. Include images, testimonials, or short videos to add a personal touch and showcase the real people behind the support. Encourage supporters to share these spotlights within their network, too, to amplify the recognition. This not only expresses gratitude but also serves as a form of public acknowledgement, fostering a sense of pride among your supporters and community for their involvement in your cause.
Before you feature your supporters on social media, be sure to get their consent. When it comes to the content of your post, we recommend asking your supporters for a photo and quote that you can publish as well.
Here’s a sample template of a social media post to get you started. Be sure to customize it, so it better fits your group, fundraiser, and supporters.
“Thank you [Supporter Name] for your amazingly generous support of [Group Name] during their [Fundraiser Name]. Through your contribution, you are helping [Group Name] to [short statement of impact/how their contribution will be used].
Much thanks to you and all the generous people just like you for the incredible support!”
3. Recognition at Events
Set aside time to thank all the people who contributed to your fundraiser during your next group meeting, open house, or post-fundraiser get together. Consider setting up a dedicated acknowledgement area with banners, posters, and pictures or a gratitude wall where supporters and donors can see their names prominently displayed. During these events, take a moment to publicly thank your supporters with a speech. Offering this time of recognition not only makes your supporters feel valued but also inspires others to contribute to your cause.
Additionally, consider hosting an annual appreciation event specifically designed to honor and celebrate those who have been instrumental in supporting your fundraising efforts. It doesn’t have to be an expensive or over-the-top party, a simple barbeque or buffet brunch allows you to treat your supporters and say, in person, how much their contributions mean to your group.
4. A Peak Behind the Scenes
Get donors involved in your organization, group, or school on a more personal level by offering them behind-the-scenes looks, exclusive updates, and previews of upcoming events. You could invite them to tour your facility or classroom as a way to showcase the impact of their contributions and let them see your programs in action. You could also consider creating a special email newsletter or private social media group to keep supporters up to date on what your group is doing, share noteworthy achievements, testimonials, etc. By giving your supporters a sneak peek into the inner workings of your group, you’re fostering a sense of belonging and trust, making them more likely to continue their support.
5. Supporter Impact Stories
Another way to show supporters your appreciation is by sharing impact stories through your newsletter, website, or social media pages. This is often an overlooked method of recognizing supporters, but it’s an incredibly moving one. A key question that supporters always ask is, “How is my contribution being used?” Answer this question by sharing compelling supporter impact stories. Highlight specific projects or individuals that have benefited from their generosity. Include direct quotes or showcase “before and after” scenarios to underscore the transformation made possible by supporters. Personalizing these stories not only expresses gratitude but also helps donors see the real-world outcomes of their contributions. By appealing to both emotion and logic, you’ll increase your chances of them supporting your cause in the future.
Best Practices for Recognizing and Thanking Your Supporters
Timeliness is Key
Express your gratitude promptly. Whether it’s a thank-you note, social media post, or acknowledgement at an event, do it as soon as possible once the fundraiser has ended. This shows your supporters that their contributions are important to you and your group.
Tailor your expressions of thanks to each supporter. Use their names, reference specific contributions, and include their past interactions with your group. Personalized gratitude demonstrates that you value and recognize the individual behind the support.
Get Permission for Public Recognitions
We touched on this briefly above, but it’s important to repeat. Before using your supporters’ names, images, or stories publicly, be sure to get their permission. Let them know where and how you’d like to feature them. You can also use this time to ask for their social media information, a photo, and/or a quote!
Invite your supporters to share their thoughts and suggestions. Creating a two-way communication channel fosters a sense of community and partnership. By actively seeking their feedback, you demonstrate that you see them as integral collaborators in your mission.
Put Your Gratitude into Action!
Showing appreciation is more than a formality; it’s a powerful tool for building lasting connections. It’s important to always remember that your supporters are the ones who make achieving your goals possible. They help fund your programs, trips, clubs, and the acquiring of items you use on a daily basis. Taking the time to say “thank you” shows them that you see all they do, and that it really has made a difference for your group. So, whether it’s a heartfelt note, social media shoutout, event recognition, exclusive update, or sharing an impactful story, choose to make thanking your supporters more than just a task to check off…make it a priority.