Start 2022 Right by Saying Thank You to Donors and Volunteers
The new year is a time to look ahead with hope and optimism. For nonprofits, it can also be a valuable moment to reflect and show gratitude to all the people who have helped your organization get to this point.
A special thank-you message to donors, volunteers, and other supporters is an easy and impactful way to let your community know that they’re appreciated and encourage greater engagement with your nonprofit in 2022. Here are some ideas to help you say thanks in the most meaningful way possible.
Make it personal
Most people can tell the difference between a mass email and a personalized message. Whether it’s a handwritten note or a quick phone call, putting in the extra effort to make your thank-you message feel personal can go a long way.
To maximize your time without losing that personal touch, consider writing a rough outline for phone calls or a simple template for notes that you can easily adjust for each person. If you have an exceptionally long list of thank-you messages to send, you could also group volunteers and donors based on things they share in common (like donation size or the specific type of volunteer work they do) and create a unique note for each group. That way, the recipients will still feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
Create a video
Another meaningful way to connect with your supporters is through a video message. Your smartphone has all of the tools you need to make it happen, and a quick video note from the leader of your organization can help put a face to your message of gratitude.
If handwritten notes don’t feel like a viable option, a video may be a good substitute since it can still feel direct and personal. You can make multiple videos for different purposes, such as a general thank-you message for social media and a more personalized one for large donors or volunteers who’ve been with you for a long time.
Show supporters their impact
Whatever medium you choose to say thanks, your supporters will appreciate learning about the impact their contributions had. Sharing inspiring statistics via an infographic or sharing how someone’s life has been positively impacted by your nonprofit’s work can make all the difference in engaging your donors.
When you’re sharing people’s stories, consider allowing them to say thank-you in their own words, either in a short quote or a video clip. If you have a lot of pictures from the previous year, you could also combine them into a video like this one from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.
Keep the conversation going
As you write your thank-you notes, you might want to lay out some ways that donors and volunteers can continue to engage with your nonprofit in the new year. This could include sharing a calendar of upcoming events or inviting them to follow you on social media so that they never miss an update about your work.
That said, make sure that your message doesn’t contain any big asks that may feel off-putting to recipients. While a great thank-you message will encourage greater involvement with your organization in future, the goal is ultimately to show gratitude, not to get something in return.
Make thank-you messages an important part of your stewardship plan
A thank-you message is the beginning of a conversation, not the conclusion to one. Letting your supporters know you appreciate them right now ensures that your nonprofit will be top of mind as they step into the new year—increasing the likelihood that they’ll support you again in the months ahead.
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