Dan Glaze from the National Christian Foundation says the six most important words in fundraising are “thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Just like a personal thank you can go a long way, no show of thanks or gratitude is a recipe for disaster.
Everyone who is giving to your church in some shape or form needs regular communication, sharing stories of success and letting them know where the money goes. You should be thanking first-time givers when they give for the very first time and regular givers who are supporting the ministry year-round.
It’s also appropriate to say a special thank you to those who have funded the ministry in a big way. Today, I want to challenge you to personally thank some of your key donors.
Here are some ideas.
#1 – Send a personal note.
When you want to thank a key donor, do NOT send an e-mail and don’t send a formal letter.
Hand write a thank you note and make it personal. Put it in an old fashioned envelope, use an old fashioned pen to hand write the address, and use an old fashioned stamp to send it in the old fashioned mail.
Hand written note cards work great because they stand out in the mailbox. They don’t go in the trashcan with the other junk mail and they don’t go on the desk with the other bills. They are usually opened right away and sometimes kept out for days.
In other words, personal note cards are meaningful.
Thanking your donors also goes a long way towards keeping them engaged throughout the year and will help you create a culture of generosity.
#2 – Send a small gift.
Once a year, consider sending a small gift to your donors.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, but a small token of appreciation goes a long way when it comes to donor development.
- A good book that was meaningful to you last year. Let people know why it was special and how you think it could encourage them. One book I’ve sent to others is Soul Keeping by John Ortberg.
- A custom moleskin notebook embossed with your church logo. You can find those here.
- A box of the hot, cheesy gooey stuff. Pizza!! You can order a pizza from Lou Malniti’s, one of the best pizzas in Chicago, and they will ship it to whatever address is provided. This will definitely make a positive impression.
#3 – Share inside information.
If people know what’s coming or know the results of what happened, they sometimes feel special.
Information is a form of appreciation.
The people funding your ministry should get a slightly different look at things than everyone else. They should know how their contributions are making a difference.
Once a quarter, or maybe even once a month, send a donor update email. You can share a few statistics or an image or two.
This isn’t a church wide email – it’s just an update to your donors.
It won’t cost you any money and it will just take a little bit of time but sharing information with your donors is a great way to say thanks.
Thank Your Donors
When people give to your church, particularly for the first time or in an unusual way, make sure you say thanks. It’s always appropriate and it’s nearly impossible to overdo.