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7 ways to be really great at saying ‘thank you’

As a nation, there’s no denying how much manners matter to us.

In fact, politeness is more important to Brits than any other country, with Britons saying thank you more than anyone else in the world (on average half a billion times a year, in case you were wondering).

It’s no wonder, then, that thanking your supporters should be an essential part of your fundraising retention strategy. Charities put so much effort into asking for donations - but the truth is that sometimes, a simple thank you is the best fundraising opportunity of all.

So, from different types of thank yous to the benefits of partnering with a third party provider, be sure to read on to discover seven ways to effectively thank your supporters - and how working with a response handling and fulfilment specialist can help you to be great at saying thank you!

Why it’s so important to say thank you

There are plenty of benefits to thanking your supporters. For starters, saying thank you shows you value that supporter as an individual. But doing so also helps to strengthen donor relationships, build brand loyalty, and increase the lifetime value of your donors.

Thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship, and a timely “thank you” can also be viral, with happy donors sharing their experience with others, leading to additional donations, more engagement, and the possibility of gifting further down the line.

Plus, not doing so could even be detrimental, with five out of 10 donors being more likely to stop giving or give less if they feel unappreciated. Yep, it’s super important to take the time to say thank you - so, here’s how to be really great at doing it!

7 ways to be great at thanking your donors

1. Do it quickly

First things first, it’s essential to make sure your thank yous are timely. We know that life is busy, but if your donors don’t receive a thank you following their donation - or if they hear from you a significant amount of time later - they might feel unappreciated and unvalued or even choose to donate their money elsewhere.

In fact, did you know that donors are significantly more likely to donate again if they are thanked within a week of giving? So, it’s super important make sure you get your relationship off to a strong start (or solidify your existing relationship) by thanking them quickly as quickly as possible.

2. Make it personal

But thanking your donors quickly isn’t enough - your thank yous need to be sincere, too. After all, your supporters don’t want to feel like you’re thanking them just because you have to, and they certainly don’t want to feel like a name or a number that’s just being ticked off a list.

That’s why it’s so important to make your thank yous as authentic and personal as possible. Research by Salesforce found that 84% of people said being treated like an individual rather than a statistic had a huge impact on which brands they chose to support. So, whichever channel you decide to use to thank your supporters (more on that below!) you should always make sure that it’s personalised.

3. Show them how they’ve made a difference

68% of donors say that knowing their donation has made a difference is really important to then. So, when it comes to thanking your supporters, it’s a really great idea to let the impact take centre stage by explaining the impact their donation has had and including information about what their money will go towards.

If you have any statistics you can share, be sure to include them, and make sure you embrace the power of storytelling, too. What was the situation before, and how will their donation have helped? We all like to feel good - so make sure you let your supporters know that they’ve made a difference!

4. Get creative

You should also ensure that your thank yous stand out, so try and think outside the box as much as possible. For example, instead of a standard, “Dear Mr. Smith, thank you for your donation” why not try “Wow! Thanks to your support, you have given five children in Africa access to clean water for a week!”.

Alternatively, why not consider giving a gift such as a keyring or wristband, or you could choose to send a welcome pack if it’s their first time donating. It’s worth the effort: in fact, our amalgamated campaign analysis across all our regular giving programme found a 40% reduction in cancellation rates with the introduction of a welcome pack and subsequent triggered communications.

5. Be sure about GDPR

You should also make sure that any data you use to inform your thanking materials is covered by your UK-GDPR policy and privacy notice - and without a doubt, the best way to be assured that your data is secure is by enlisting the help of an expert third-party provider.

At Woods Valldata, for example, we are a Level 1 PCI DSS certified supplier, are compliant with UK GDPR 2018, and hold the ISO 27001 for information security - which means that our technology and data security is rock solid. Our state-of-the-art facilities have been purpose built to keep everything secure, and with strict data security measure in place, you can relax in the knowledge that your data is safe with us

6. Track the impact

Finally, as well as thanking your donors, it’s also really important to track the impact of your thank yous. By understanding the impact of your activity, you can determine which methods have worked well so you know to use them again in the future.

And on the other hand, identifying methods that haven’t been as successful means you can actively improve on them in the future. Some ways to do this include:

  • Adding a control or fallow cell to your thanking strategy
  • Tracking your results against previous thank you strategies
  • Sending supporter satisfaction surveys

7. Ask the experts

If you need further support and advice, partnering with a dedicated response handling and fulfilment specialist like Woods Valldata is a fantastic way to ensure your thank yous are remembered for all the right reasons. The right external provider will act as an extension of your team, advising on your current response handling practices and enabling you to improve your approach.

Rest assured that they will use their years of experience to manage your responses with the same approach, care, and attention as you do - so you can remain confident that you are providing your supporters with an exceptional supporter experience, no matter where they are in their donor journey.

From help with personalisation methods with the use of data, to setting up time-triggered thank you emails, there are numerous benefits to teaming up with a third-party specialist, such as:

  • Accuracy – Respecting and valuing the importance of data, and ensuring this is used in the right way
  • Speed – Enhancing supporter experiences and ensuring thank yous are sent straight away
  • Visibility offering – Providing charities with full visibility of live donor responses, processing and data
  • Clear communications – More specifically, providing a collaborative working relationship where they are contactable as and when needed
  • Cost efficiency – Providing a partnership that helps to drive down unnecessary costs whilst increasing ROI

How Woods Valldata can help

With so many different things to think about when it comes to thanking your supporters, it’s essential to start including thanking as part of your fundraising strategy and find the right approach for your supporters.

It can seem complex, but when you enlist the help of Woods Valldata, we’ll work with you to identify the best way to implement a thanking programme, so you know your new and existing donors are truly valued. Using our SmartThank platform, we make the complex simple.

If you want to find out more about how we can help with response handling, simply contact us today to arrange your free consultation. Alternatively, find out how we helped Alzheimer’s Research UK with their response handling in this case study.

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