Donor Appreciation

Every generation has a new “golden rule” of fundraising, but the one that you should always take seriously is that of gratitude. Some experts say you should say thank you up to seven times, and while that may sound over-the-top, consider this: one of the most aggravating experiences for donors is being over solicited. How do they define this? Being asked to give again before they knew their first gift had an impact. (Source: Penelope Burk)
Anyone who is committed to their cause knows that donor appreciation and recognition should be at the heart of any crowdfunding campaign. While the donation might already have been processed, a small but sincere thank you will help prove that the donor is valued, cement the relationship, and set up the possibility of a future donation.
Here's a simple four-step appreciation plan for a crowdfunding campaign:

1.  Confirmation

As soon as an individual makes a donation on HIPGive they receive two emails confirming their donation: the first is from WePay, our payment processor, and confirms the financial transaction, and the second is from HIPGive. This latter email is automatic but, importantly, contains the brief thank you message that each nonprofit uploaded when creating their project on the platform.  To check—and should you wish, edit your message—simply login and access your project via the dashboard.

2. The official "Thank You"

On HIPGIve you can see donations as they arrive and are added to your “Givers” page, but the project author can also download a complete list of donors by clicking on the “Download Funders’ List” on the dashboard. (It’s the yellow button just below the goal percentage.)

Armed with this list, you can communicate directly with each donor via email. Most organizations choose to send a personalized thank you letter or card of some type, but the more personalized the better. If you’re going to write a note, don’t just state the facts, but try and include the emotion of how you, or the beneficiaries, feel to receive the donation.

Even better, why not select a recognition approach from the following:
  • Hand-written (scanned) thank you note
  • Thank you telephone call from the Director or CEO
  • Shout out or dedicated post on social media
  • Video thank you message

3. Share your results 

Your supporters want to help and to be involved; this is why they funded your campaign in the first place. When the campaign is over, share your results with them and show them that you truly appreciate their support.

Even if you didn't reach your crowdfunding goal, it's important to let your donors know what positive results the campaign will generate and what you plan to do with the money raised.
If you want to find a more original way to communicate this information, ask one of your project participants to share the results in his or her own words, or on video. Or give your donors a sneak peek behind the scenes as your project kicks off. 

4. Share your impact

It’s tempting to close the donor appreciation cycle after the campaign has wound down, but there’s one thing left to do: once your project is underway, share the overall impact of the project with those that helped make it happen. For example, you could send a brief but upbeat email saying, “Thanks to your gift, we were able to provide healthy food packages to 200 families in Mexico. Read the stories of some of those families on our website...”
A few months down the line, this message will be a pleasant surprise for donors, reinforce a positive image of the organization, and show that you are a trustworthy steward of their resources.
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