GivingTuesday is just around the corner and as charities organize their fundraising strategies to participate in the global day of giving, it is just as important to plan and partake in the fun which occurs on #ThankYouThursday, the Thursday following GivingTuesday. Intended as a day for charities and non-profits to thank their donors and supporters for all their contributions, there are countless ways to express your appreciation. Check out our round-up of 5 ways to thank your supporters this #ThankYouThursday:
1. Pull out all the stops to thank your supporters – even handwritten letters.
Think of the last time you received a handwritten note in the mail. How did you feel? In an era of texting, instant messaging, and endless emails, it’s not often we receive a personalized thank you, let alone a thoughtful handwritten note thanking us for something we have done. This GivingTuesday, gather your staff, board members, or a team of volunteers to write handwritten thank you notes to all those who supported your cause over the past year. 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 your supporters a phone call to express your thanks and appreciation for their generosity. Not only is it a good opportunity to demonstrate your appreciation, it is a fantastic way to build relationships with your supporters and answer any questions they may have about your organization in real-time.
If you’re active on social media, take the opportunity to give special shout-outs to those that supported your cause on GivingTuesday. Not only will your supporters appreciate the recognition, they might re-tweet and share your message to all of their social media followers, only helping your charity reach even more people.
Have you considered creating a Thank You video? 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 charity Pathways to Education created a thank you video and posted it on social media and their website.
2. Express your thanks with a #ThankYouThursday template.
Just like your supporters got #unselfie on GivingTuesday, use social media to express your thanks to your supporters. Print off the template, write down why you are thankful, and tweet it out to the universe on #ThankYouThursday. It’s that simple. Download the #ThankYouThursday template.
3. Host a supporter appreciation night.
What better way is there to say thanks than by throwing a party in someone’s honour? This #ThankYouThursday, host 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. Announce your #GivingTuesdayCA results.
GivingTuesday is a big day for charitable giving. Last year, charities that actively promoted GivingTuesday saw the greatest lift in donations, with an average overall increase of 93% in number of donations received through CanadaHelps.
Aside from the numbers, it is important to acknowledge the driving force behind the impact: your supporters. Giving because they care, 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.
5. 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. If you work at a food bank, profile one of your clients who needed to use your facility during a difficult time in their lives and allow them to use #ThankYouThursday to express their appreciation. 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. Not only are narratives a powerful way to convey a message, they will also allow the people telling the story to feel even more connected to your cause.
Have an idea not listed here? Tweet them to us @CharityLifeCA and use the hashtag #ThankYouThursday.