November 6, 2014

How to Celebrate your Donors

Do you and your organizations CELEBRATE your donors?

I’m not referring to acknowledgment, recognition or stewardship, but actually celebrating their role in advancing the mission of your organization. Oftentimes nonprofit organizations get mired in the processes and procedures related to gift acknowledgement and recognition systems. Those are important elements of a successful development operation and should not be taken lightly. But by celebrating the gifts bestowed upon our organizations from our varied donor constituencies, we develop stronger, sometimes lifelong, relationships.

Celebrating donors includes the personal touches that we extend in gratitude for a donor’s charitable investment in our goals and aspirations. These touches can be simple and inexpensive, while conveying our deepest appreciation.

When was the last time you received a personal, hand-written letter?  With today’s electronic communications, form letters and computer-generated gift receipts are common, but the hand-written note is a rarity. This simple gesture conveys the genuine appreciation we have for our donors. Like the note, a personal phone call is a special touch to build our relationships with donors, saying “thank you” and letting donors know how much they mean to your organization. These are two of the many ways we can truly celebrate our donors and their support.

In 1986, President Reagan proclaimed November 15 “National Philanthropy Day” - a day to recognize philanthropy and its impact on our nonprofit institutions and communities.  Many organizations and associations have set aside this day of celebration. The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) promotes National Philanthropy Day by hosting events among its chapters across the country and recognizes donors, volunteers and development professionals through local and national awards programs. This is a day to celebrate all of our partners who are inspired to help us achieve our goals.

Take a moment and reach out to your partners. Write a note, place a call. Celebrate their engagement in philanthropy!

guide-to-gift-tables-RGB-COVERCreating & Using Gift Tables

Learn how gift tables can help you strategically plan your campaign, communicate with your board and administration, and even communicate with potential donors. Along with guidelines, we've included 6 potential gift tables for 6 potential campaign goals.

Download Now >

Written by

Dean Rein

Dean Rein is Senior Counsel at Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt.


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