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Four Ways Nonprofits Can Show Appreciation to Their Funders

Expressing gratitude for funders

It's Valentine's Day! What better day to show appreciation for those who support your mission? As a nonprofit, you rely on the generosity and support of your funders to fulfill your mission and make a positive impact in your community. While individual donors are often prioritized in fundraising strategies and marketing campaigns, it's crucial to keep your funders top of mind as well! Showing appreciation for your funders not only strengthens your relationship but also encourages continued support. Here are four meaningful ways for nonprofits to express gratitude and show their funders some love.

💫 Personalized Thank-You Notes: This one is really my all-time favorite. Any time I've received a hand written card, it's always left a lasting impression on me. Taking the time to send personalized thank-you notes can make a significant impression on your funders. Expressing genuine gratitude and highlighting the specific impact of their contributions can show that their support is valued and is making a difference. 💪💪

💫 Impact Reports and Updates: Nearly every grant award comes with specific guidelines for reporting deadlines. At a minimum, you should be providing high-quality reports and submitting them on time or in advance of your reporting deadline, but don't stop there! Providing funders with simple updates on individuals or communities positively affected by their support can go a long way. I'm not talkin' about anything fancy here! A short email with a photo will even suffice, so don't overcomplicate it! Sharing success stories and highlighting the impact of a funder's investment reinforces the value of their partnership and fosters a sense of pride in their involvement.

💫 Exclusive Engagement Opportunities: One organization we work with introduced "Coffee Catch-Ups" during Covid to keep their funders updated on how they were adapting to all of the changes. Every month, the Executive Director would send out a few emails asking a handful of funders if they wanted to hop on a quick 15-20-minute Zoom or phone call just to touch base. The result: the organization had its biggest fundraising year ever and was able to provide additional support to communities outside of their normal geographic focus.

You can even take this a step further by inviting your funders to special events or providing opportunities to meet with program beneficiaries. Offering personalized experiences that align with the funder's interests and values demonstrates a commitment to cultivating a meaningful relationship beyond financial support.

💫 Recognition and Visibility: Publicly recognizing funders also serves as a great way to showcase their generosity and commitment to your nonprofit's mission. This can include acknowledging them on the organization's website, in newsletters or annual reports, and during events or fundraisers (always ask the funder for permission first!). If your nonprofit maintains a blog, you can also ask your funders to contribute a guest blog post or join you in a speaking engagement.

Engaging funders as collaborative partners rather than just financial supporters can enhance your relationship and foster long-term commitment. Don't be afraid to seek their input on strategic decisions or invite them to join advisory committees. Building strong and lasting relationships with funders is key to achieving shared goals and making a difference in the communities they serve.

If you're feeling pressed for time but want to take action today, consider picking up the phone and calling your funders to express your gratitude. Even a brief phone call can go a long way in showing your funders some love!

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