Recurring donors offer consistent support, month after month or year after year, to help nonprofits achieve their mission. They are loyal and committed to the causes they care about. For that reason, they offer ongoing support, allowing organizations to continue making a positive impact on the world.
Expressing gratitude to these recurring donors is essential to keeping them interested in your organization and your mission and encouraging them to continue their invaluable support.
Here are some excellent ideas from Bloomerang.com you can implement to ensure that your recurring donors feel valued and inspired to continue their generous contributions and they don’t forget about your mission.
Host events that simply provide a “thank you” to your supporters rather than asking them to contribute to your organization. These events may be a luncheon, happy hour, or another opportunity to have a good time.
In addition, events are a great way to mingle with your supporters and create lasting relationships and connections with them. The invite shows that you care and the opportunity to network with them builds up relationships. You can read more about appreciation events later in this article.
Volunteering may not immediately sound like an appreciation idea, but hear us out! When you start a volunteer program, you give your supporters a chance for an up-close view of what your mission is accomplishing. While you can tell your recurring donors about their impact that they have on your mission, they’re more likely to develop a personal connection with your organization if they can see that impact as well.
Be sure to incorporate appreciation into the calls-to-action as you’re working with recurring donors to encourage them to volunteer. You might offer to meet after the volunteer experience for a happy hour or work appreciation into your recruitment messaging. For example, you might say, “Hugo, thank you so much for your gifts to Hope Rains, the campaign providing clean water to communities in need. If you want to meet those who have benefitted from your contributions, consider volunteering at this week’s water purifier assembly!”
Bonus! Your supporters who volunteer also may have the opportunity to increase their monetary contributions to your organization as well if they qualify for volunteer grants through their employer’s corporate responsibility program.
Program Updates and Communication
Just as your new donors want additional information about your mission as a whole, your recurring donors will want to know about the progress that your organization is making in the community. Be sure to communicate this progress clearly and consistently to your recurring donors.
Send email newsletters with updates about specific projects and post social media posts regarding the various activities your organization is involved with. Then, of course, be sure to say “thank you” to everyone who makes this progress possible. Be sure to keep in consistent contact with your recurring donors, always showing them their impact on the mission at hand. This lets them know where their money is going and allows you to give a specific “thank you” for their impact.
Thank You Letters
Do you have a leap of excitement when you check the mail and notice that there’s a letter in there for you that’s not a credit card or utility bill? We do too and so do your donors! Studies show that people also absorb and retain information better when they read it on paper than on a screen. This means that donor appreciation letters can make a splash for your supporters.
Write personalized letters that will capture your supporters’ attention. This shouldn’t replace an initial confirmation email or a digital thank you, but it does help solidify your strategy and provides another medium on which you’re showing your appreciation. To make sure these letters are personalized, leverage your donor segments and craft messages that each will find engaging. Then, ask your executive director or development officer to personally sign the letter.
If you’ve ever run a 5K for charity, you know that the most exciting part of the activity is receiving your free t-shirt at the end of the race. That t-shirt may even become your favorite one that you’ll wear until it has holes along the seams. You may not remember the exact amount that you paid for the race or your finishing time, but whenever you wear the shirt, you’re reminded of the organization and the mission you supported.
This is the reason appreciation gifts are so important and effective. While t-shirts are a classic option, they’re certainly not the only one. Branded merchandise and gifts of all shapes and sizes make for a great way to show your appreciation for your recurring supporters’ contributions. Plus, they’ll think of your mission each and every time they see the gift.