Year-end is over! Now what? First, take a deep breath and give yourself a few moments of calm. Second, start showing those donors some love with a thank you.
A basic thank you letter is a perfectly acceptable way to show a donor some gratitude. But if you want to go above and beyond and add some creative flair to wow your donors, go for it!
To help get the creative juices flowing, I collected some favorite thank yous that I’ve personally received and some submissions that our nonprofit friends have sent us. All of these thank yous share a few things in common that you should apply to your messages of gratitude:
By Greg Tucker
Ruby Bridges’ walk to school became a symbol of the Civil Rights struggle
In 1960, 6-year-old Ruby Bridges’ daily walk to class took her past an angry mob and into Civil Rights history when she became the first African American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South.
Got 2 minutes? Please tell us what you're doing to strengthen donor relationships, and/or what's in your way. Thanks!
Honoring your donors—and prospects—is, hands-down, the most effective approach to building strong and lasting relationships with the folks whose help you need so very much.
It’s no surprise that donor retention is an absolute priority (again) for 2015. Yet the specific how-tos of donor retention success remain elusive for many organizations. This should help...
Here’s my recommended path to donor retention recommendation in 2015: Simply R-E-S-P-E-C-T your way to strong and long-lasting donor relationships.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to improving the world in which he lived—and challenged the rest of us to do the same. He not only championed the equal rights but also equal access to economic opportunity for all Americans. This year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service will honor his legacy as hundreds of thousands of Americans pay tribute by serving their communities on Monday, Jan. 20.
Wish Nation is the official blog for Make-a-Wish America. Justin Schmid and Jennifer Parsons, Wish Nation collaborators, have learned a lot since starting the blog over a year ago. I had the chance to chat with them about the success of Wish Nation and what they’ve learned since the launch. If you’re interested in launching a blog for your nonprofit, check out the highlights from our conversation and some actionable tips to help you get the blog process started at your organization.
If your organization is like most nonprofits, you concentrate your fundraising efforts on donor acquisition. That’s understandable! Donors are your organization’s lifeblood, and they need to be inspired each year to support your good work.
The dirty little secret of development is that only 27% of donors in a given year will give again the next year. So, 73% of your hard-won donors love you one year and leave you the next.
Here at Network for Good, we’re reflecting on 2014 and planning for the upcoming year. We’re locking down webinar topics and presenters for next year, putting the finishing touches on some incredible—and free!—fundraising eGuides, getting posts queued up for this blog, and brainstorming ways to help nonprofits raise more money online (because that’s what we’re here for!).
But before we dive into 2015, we want to share with you our top blog posts from 2014. Drumroll, please…
I’ve always admired The Salvation Army bell ringers. In addition to donating their time and ringing their signature bell in all sorts of terrible weather, the program raises a sack of money that rivals Santa’s. Last year, kettle bells raised $136 million nationally for The Salvation Army’s mission, which includes food, shelter, addiction recovery assistance, after-school programs and many other services for the needy.
The secret to The Salvation Army’s success isn’t a secret at all—or a complicated fundraising strategy. They have an iconic brand that resonates with people during the holidays, and they work their butts off in December to raise as much money as possible with kettle bells. If you’re a nonprofit and want to stop reading now you should remember that brand and hustle matter. But bell ringers can teach you a lot if you’ll only take a moment to stop and learn instead of hurrying by.
Network for Good hosted a special #GivingTuesday campaign, N4G Gives, focused on equipping nonprofits with the tools and knowledge for #GivingTuesday success. The N4G Gives campaign provided free #GivingTuesday resources to the entire nonprofit community and special training and matching funds to nonprofits using DonateNow, our online giving platform. In addition to matching funds, we also recognized the leaders in 10 fundraising categories with special awards. Read about seven special award winners below and learn more about the top three winners in a previous post.
Honorable Mention Most Dollars Raised: The Sikh Coalition
The Sikh Coalition was founded by volunteers on the night of September 11, 2001 in response to a torrent of violent attacks against Sikh Americans throughout the United States. The Sikh Coalition is the largest Sikh American advocacy and community development organization in the United States. Today, the Sikh Coalition works toward the realization of civil and human rights for all people.
The Sikh Coalition built their #GivingTuesday campaign around a core tenet of Sikhism focused on the obligation to be generous. They “love #GivingTuesday because of the urgency created around a one-day campaign and the ability to inspire donors to give earlier in December.”
#GivingTuesday has arrived
On December 2, nonprofits and donors came together in an inspiring day of generosity. Millions of dollars were raised to fuel the good work of nonprofits all over the world.
Network for Good hosted a special campaign, N4G Gives, focused on equipping nonprofits with the tools and knowledge for #GivingTuesday success. The N4G Gives campaign provided free #GivingTuesday resources to the entire nonprofit community and special training and matching funds to nonprofits using DonateNow, our online giving platform. In addition to matching funds, we also recognized the leaders in 10 fundraising categories with special awards.
The most exciting validation of the value of #GivingTuesday is reflected in the experience of the “winners” of Network for Good’s N4G Gives campaign. They are large and small. Some planned for months, and some started the day before. Some have large staff teams, and some are staffed exclusively by volunteers.
When I saw this Facebook post from the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless (ECHH), my smile spread like wildfire.
You see, we’ve been working with the ECHH team on year-end fundraising campaigns for a few years, and among the countless things I was surprised to learn when we started is just how many of the individuals and families they serve are working full-time (or more, holding multiple jobs) but still can’t make ends meet—68%!