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Last updated January 27, 2017

Thanking your donors is an essential part of growing your donor relationships and a well written thank-you letter is the best place to start. However, if you really want to deepen your donor relationship, then a thank-you letter should only be the first step. Check out these simple ways to say thanks and further engage your donors in your cause.

Client Thank-You Notes
Receiving a thank-you letter from the people your organisation supports really hits to the heart of what you do, so ask your clients or service users to write their own note of thanks. After all, they are the reason your donors choose to get involved in the first place.

Create a Thank-You Video
Take short video snippets of your clients, staff and volunteers saying thank-you and create a video collage to share online. Post it on your website and social media pages, as well as emailing the link directly to your donors.

Make Thank-You Postcards
Use photographs of your clients or shots of your programmes in action to make thank-you postcards. You can include a short story on the back of each card with room for a personal note of thanks.

Make a Thank-You Calendar
A calendar is a thank-you gift that lasts all year. Feature a different person and story on every month, so that donors get to see the full scope of your work and the impact you make.

Invite your Donor to Visit
Seeing your programmes in action and getting to meet your clients or service users face-to-face is a great way to deepen the donor connection. Make sure you have someone on hand to give your donor one-on-one attention and answer any questions they have.

Use Client-Made Gifts
If you run a programme where clients are engaged in art and craft activities, then why not use some of those products to thank your donors? It will give them a small taste of what your organisation is about and involve your clients in the process.

Add Photographs
They say a picture paints a thousand words, so consider adding a carefully chosen photograph to your letter. And when I say add, I mean actually print out the photo on real photo paper and add it to the envelope. Donors are much more likely to post it on the fridge or pin it to the noticeboard and it will serve as an ongoing reminder of the work you do.

Host a Thank-You Event
Invite your donor to a special thank you event that showcases the work you do and what has been achieved. Have a range of people share their stories including clients, staff and volunteers.

Building a relationship with your donor starts by genuinely appreciating their contribution and looking for ways you can demonstrate that gratitude on a regular basis.

Kerri Tilby-Price
Kerri is a trainer / facilitator with Exult and regularly works with organisations right around the country.

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