The author William Arthur Ward famously said that “feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” As well as being the right thing to do, saying thank you in the right way—and at the right time—is an essential skill for the successful crowdfunder.
In traditional fundraising campaigns, you often have the ability to say thank you face-to-face and the donor may well know the project firsthand. In contemporary crowdfunding campaigns, however, geographic distance and mass communications mean our thank you messages often come across as formulaic and impersonal. This is precisely the opposite of the impression that we want to cause!
The right approach is to put together a thank you message that is timely, personalized, and sincere; this not only shows your donor that he or she is valued, it allows you to consolidate the relationship and set up the possibility of another donation in the future.
Here are a few ways that you can make your gift of gratitude really meaningful to your donors this holiday season:
1. Make it personal.
No matter how tempting it is to copy-paste a generic thank you message, make sure you at least use the donor’s first name. Email marketing apps will let you program this automatically, but even if you have to do it manually it’s worth the effort.
2. Have a beneficiary say “thank you” on video.
We tend to associate crowdfunding videos with asking for donations at the start of the campaign, rather than thanking donors at the end. Yet there’s nothing more heartwarming than seeing the people whose lives will be changed thanks to your contribution—putting a face to a name, as it were. Keep it simple if you want: a smart phone and a short message is enough, but if you have a bit of time on your hands, have a look at this thank you video from CEPAD Nicaragua.
3. Hand write it.
When was the last time you received a letter? In a world of emails and texts, handwritten communications are unusual and, therefore, valuable. Moreover, a handwritten card or letter shows you have taken time to acknowledge the deeper significance of the gift, and the giver. Try it! Even if you don’t have a postal address for your donor, write the note in your own handwriting, photograph or scan it, and send the image by email.
4. Schedule a call from the President.
Like a letter, a personal phone call is a rare commodity these days. It means even more when the President of the board or the CEO makes the call. Save this one for a handful of your most generous contributors, but you’ll see how effective it can be when they show their support in future campaigns.
5. Spread the joy.
The best thank you messages lighten our spirits and speak to our hearts because they are happy and sincere. Recently the HIPGive team received a short thank you email from Learning Spot Guatemala which simply stated, “I send you Juanito’s smile ♡ ” How can you spread the joy with your thank you message?