How Much Time Do You Spend Thanking?


Every once in a while a charity asks me if they should spend less time and money on their thank yous, because they see them as just more admin.

You’ve probably heard me say this before: Thank Yous are income generators.

A good thank you can get a person to give again. A good thank you will increase the likelihood of donating the next time you ask. A good thank you will get passed around to friends and families and can help recruit new supporters.

Even with no ask, Thank You letters, e-mails and phone calls are really effective fundraisers. In fact, they’re my favourite form of fundraising. And they’re probably the most undervalued form of fundraising. Remember: retention is much much cheaper than recruitment.

Almost certainly, your organisation isn’t thanking enough.

Don’t even entertain the idea of cutting back on your thank yous…instead ask yourself (or me): How can we thank more? And how can we thank better?

Today I got one of my favourite thank yous ever, from Mike Elliott in Outreach Indiana. I made a small donation after my Pokémon teammate Steven Shattuck showed me what Mike was doing…

Mike uses a tool called Vidyard to record a completely personal and completely human thank you video, while showing images and screenshots of stuff relevant to the donor.

You have to watch this thank you from Outreach Indiana…I love it.

And while you’re at it, watch one of the thank yous they sent to Steven here.

For me, they sum up what a thank you should be: genuine, human, personal, relevant…and just damn lovely. A thank you should make you feel like your donation was noticed. And like it’ll make a difference.

That’s exactly what Mike has done. And that’s why his donors will keep coming back to him.

How’s your thank you journey looking?

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