The First Step Toward the Next Gift

charitable giving cultivation development donor fundraising giving meaningful thanks memorable thanks nonprofit raise money stewardship thanks Jan 02, 2018

Why do most donors say they've stopped giving to an organization?

They weren't thanked. In multiple studies, from 20% to over 70% of donors say they were never thanked.

We suspect many actually were (most of us send acknowledgement letters or emails) - but the thanks wasn't meaningful or memorable.

How can you be sure your donors feel thanked?

This month, in Fundraisers' Monthly, Nancy and I walk through how to thank your donors so powerfully, they'll want to give again & again, more & more.

Stewardship may seem like someone else's job, but the very best fundraisers know great thanks is the first step toward the next gift.

In fact, great thanks is the 1st through the 7th step toward the next gift.

In his book, Mega Gifts, Jerald Panas states the "Rule of Seven" - thank a donor 7 times before asking again.

Why spend so much time thanking donors?

  • Your best donors are your best donors. The people who already give to you are more likely to give to you. In one study, donors who felt thanked were twice as likely to give again.
  • It takes 4x more time and money to acquire a new donor than to renew an existing one.
  • It's the best part of fundraising! Donors could give their money to any cause, but they chose yours. Enjoy it! Celebrate how awesome they are and how awesome you are for helping them do something so awesome.

If you need one more reason to thank your donors:

  • It's good for you. Gratitude boosts your happiness and actually makes you healthier. Check out one of my favorite videos on the link between gratitude and happiness.

Your challenge: Send a meaningful, memorable thanks to a donor today.

You've got this.

Raise more money. Change the world!