GivingTuesday Strategies for Success | #4: Thank Your Supporters!
Welcome to our fourth and final installment of the GivingTuesday Strategies for Success blog series!
Congratulations on getting through GivingTuesday 2019!
This year, you rallied Canadians from coast to coast to coast to “do good stuff.” Thanks to your collective efforts, millions of Canadians donated, volunteered, fundraised, and spread the word about the causes and charities close to their hearts. We know how much effort you have put into developing your GivingTuesday campaign this year, and we are excited to hear about your results in the coming days and weeks!
Aside from the numbers, it is important to acknowledge the driving force behind the impact: your supporters. Supporters and donors are an integral part of your GivingTuesday success. They will be delighted to hear the results of your GivingTuesday fundraising efforts, especially knowing they had a hand in its success.
Now that your GivingTuesday campaign is coming to a close, you’ll need to thank your supporters for engaging with your cause and steward them into a larger conversation about your mission moving forward.
To start, you’ll want to partake in the fun which occurs on #ThankYouThursday, the day after GivingTuesday for charities to thank their donors and supporters for all their contributions. There are countless ways to express your appreciation to your supporters.
Check out our round-up of 4 ways to thank your supporters this #ThankYouThursday:
1. Send a message to say thanks—consider even sending handwritten letters.
Writing a message to say thanks is an easy way to communicate to your supporters the impact they’ve made by engaging with your cause on GivingTuesday. Here are a couple of ways you can do this:
The power of email allows you to reach out to a wider audience of supporters for little-to-no cost. If you have collected a list of emails from your supporters, consider sending a personalized email that provides a recap of your GivingTuesday campaign, and what their contribution means to your cause. Here’s an example you can use for your Thank You email:
Think of the last time you received a handwritten note in the mail. How did you feel? It’s not often we receive a personalized thank you, let alone a thoughtful handwritten note thanking us for something we have done. Provided that you have addresses on hand, gather your staff, board members, or a team of volunteers to write handwritten thank you notes to all those who supported your cause on GivingTuesday. Sign it, seal it, stamp it, and send it to your supporters expressing your thanks and appreciation for their generous support for your organization and charitable mission. It may be a relic of our past, but it is a thoughtful way to express thanks, and your supporters will surely appreciate the gesture.
Equally as thoughtful, use #ThankYouThursday as an opportunity to pick up the phone and give supporters, especially more generous supporters, a phone call to express your thanks and appreciation for their generosity. Not only is it a good opportunity to demonstrate your appreciation, but it is also a fantastic way to build relationships with your supporters and answer any questions they may have about your organization in real-time.
Announce your #GivingTuesdayCA results and talk about impact
Be sure to talk about your GivingTuesday campaign results in your conversations. Talk specifically about the impact they’ve helped make. Your supporters will be delighted to hear the results of your GivingTuesday campaign efforts, especially knowing they helped contribute to its success. UOttawa found a creative way to do this by putting together a video to highlight the results of their GivingTuesday fundraising.
2. Express your thanks with a #ThankYouThursday social media post.
If you’re active on social media, take the opportunity to give special shout-outs to those who supported your cause on GivingTuesday. Not only will your supporters appreciate the recognition, but they might also share your message to all of their social media followers, Here’s a great example from a local charity thanking their supporters on #ThankYouThursday:
Need some inspiration? Just like your supporters got #unselfie on GivingTuesday, we’ve got a toolkit full of images you can use for your social media posts. Download a template, write down why you are thankful, and tweet it out to the universe on #ThankYouThursday. It’s that simple. Download the #ThankYouThursday toolkit.
Have you considered creating a Thank You video? Most content these days is consumed via video through popular platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. This is particularly true with younger, more connected audiences. There are plenty of free online tools available that can help you create professional-looking videos at little or no cost. In one great example, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre got members of their team together to create a thank you video and posted it on their social media platforms.
3. Host a supporter appreciation night.
What better way is there to say thanks than by throwing a party in their honour? Consider hosting a party and invite your key supporters to come and share in the festivities. Host the gathering in your organization’s office or space, offer refreshments, and make it memorable with fun activities or entertainment. You could even host the event in a rented space or take your supporters on a field trip. For example, if you are an art gallery, partner with another local gallery or arts facility to provide your supporters with the opportunity to be entertained for the evening in their facilities.
4. Profile a handful of your supporters on social media.
Everyone loves a story, and especially a story that involves giving back.
This #ThankYouThursday, profile some of your beneficiaries who have been on the receiving end of the kindness and generosity given by your charitable supporters. Or tell the story of an individual who has donated to your cause, and allow them to explain why they chose to give to your cause. Covenant Foundation did a great job of highlighting some of the people who give to their cause.
Not only are narratives a powerful way to convey a message, but they will also allow the people telling the story to feel even more connected to your cause.
A sincere thank you goes a long way. Whether you choose to send an email, a handwritten letter or put together a social media post, reach out to your supporters and let them know just how much they mean to you and the impact they’ve made. To maximize the relationship you’ve built through your GivingTuesday activities, your “thank you” correspondence can also be an opportunity to direct their attention to other ways they can engage with your cause in the near future.