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Mind your Ps and Qs: Our ultimate guide to thanking your supporters

We’ve talked a lot recently about the importance of thanking your supporters.

There are tons of benefits to thanking your supporters, from strengthening donor relationships and building brand loyalty to increasing the lifetime value of your donors.

Plus, thanking someone makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship and can even encourage future donations and continued involvement in your charity. Not to mention that fact that five out of 10 supporters could give less or stop giving all together if they feel unappreciated!

So, we know that taking the time to say thank you should be an essential part of your fundraising and response handling strategy. But how do you make sure your thank yous are effective?

From how to be great at thanking your supporters to creative ways to show your gratitude, read on for our ultimate guide to thanking your supporters - and how working with email response handling experts Woods Valldata can make sure your thank yous pack a punch!

5 ways to thank your supporters and show you care

1. Use your data

If your thank yous are going to be impactful, firstly, you’ll need to get to know a few things about the person you’re thanking, such as:

  • The campaign they have donated too
  • How much they donated, and how frequently
  • How they donated
  • Where the donation came from
  • How they want to be contacted
  • How long they've been supporting

This information not only means that you can reach out to your supporters in the right way (thus staying compliant with GDPR!), but also enables you to personalise your thank yous so your supporters feel special.

Your donors don't want to feel like you’re only thanking them just because you have to, and they certainly don’t want to feel like another name or number. So, it’s important to use your data to personalise your thank yous and make sure your supporters feel valued.

How we can help

We know that data collection can seem complicated and overwhelming, but rest assured that we have thorough data collection and automation processes in place as part of our response handling service here at Woods Valldata - so utilising your data couldn’t be easier!

2. Choose how to thank them

Once you’ve got to know your donors, then, you need to decide how to thank them. After all, if your thank you’s are going to make an impact, you need to make sure that you are engaging with your donors in the right way.

Whether you send a thank you letter, a thank you email, or even thank them on the phone, it’s important to communicate with your donors in their preferred way.

Don’t rule out traditional mail - according to Royal Mail, direct mail has a whopping engagement rate of 94%. Alternatively, you could go for a multichannel approach which could even help to maximise conversions and boost trust.

How we can help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, as email response handling experts our system can automatically identify which of your supporters should receive which response based on previously agreed criteria. Plus, it will then automatically send the correct response to each supporter - taking the pressure off your shoulders!

3. Get creative

When it comes to your thanks yous, you need to stand out from the crowd, so try and think outside the box if you can. Could you send a thank-you gift such as a keyring, wristband, or even supporter pin? Or perhaps you could consider sending a welcome pack for new donors?

If you choose to go with more traditional thank you methods, there’s still the opportunity to get creative. For example, you could use different fonts and photos in your thank you letters, or even get creative with your copy.

Instead of “Dear Mr Jones, thank you for your donation”, why not try “Wow, thank you Mr Jones! By donating to our wonderful cause, you have given hundreds of children in Africa access to clean drinking water for a week. We can’t thank you enough!”

68% of donors agree that knowing their donation has made an impact is important - so be sure to tell a story and let the impact take centre stage.

How we can help

The possibilities for tailoring your thank yous are endless - and here at Woods Valldata, we can implement a number of personalisation methods and effective design approaches for your letters and emails, to make sure your thank yous stand out!

4. Do it quickly

Whatever format your thank yous are in, it’s really important to get them out as quickly as possible.

Thanks to technology, people expect responses faster than ever before - and by responding promptly, you can get new supporters relationships off to a great start and also solidify existing ones, too.

Did you know that donors are much more likely to give again when they are thanked promptly? When you put it like that, it’s important to thank your supporters as soon as possible! 

How we can help

It can be tricky to keep on top of responses, but a third-party agency will take on responses as their main duty - so you can rest assured that your responses will be processed quickly. In fact, at Woods Valldata, our system can also send responses automatically, so you can enhance the overall donor experience.

5. Keep the thank yous coming

Following your initial thank you, it’s important to continue to thank your donors at key milestones throughout their supporter journey.

For example, you could set up time-triggered thank you emails or letters that are sent every month, or at key times in their journey.

By sending different messages regularly, not only will you keep your charity front of mind, but you will also ensure that your supporters continue to feel valued even after the first donation has been made.

How we can help

At Woods Valldata, we can set up time-triggered ‘thank you’ emails or letters that are sent every month for ongoing donors or send messages at key times in a support journey plan. Plus, we’ll make sure each message has fresh content that appeal to your supporters, so they remain engaged and feel valued!

Need extra help with thanking your supporters?

If you’re struggling to keep on top of your thank yous and your donors are left wondering whether or not their donation has made a difference, it could be a sign that you need to outsource your response handling.

When you partner with Woods Valldata, we will act as an extension of your team and will manage your responses with the same approach, care, and attention as you do. As such, you can remain confident that your charity’s values and ethos are being prioritised and that you provide your supporters with a truly seamless experience.

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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