It started as a mini experiment. I donated to 12 online matched giving campaigns.
I wanted to see how these organizations would communicate with me - a new donor - after they received my support, all the way through to their next online campaign.
How you thank, recognize and appreciate your donors, influences if a donor will give again.
Here's some data on how good communication with donors influences the donors next gift.
- 'McConkey Johnson' found that first time donors, who received a personal thank you within 48 hours of their donation, were 'four times' more likely to give again.
- 'Goodworks' 2017 research found that a one minute thank you phone call to new donors increased the amount of second year gifts by 30%.
- 'The Agitator' data found ‘thank you call’ generated a 72% increase in gift size on their first year donations.
It's clear to see that thanking your donor as quickly and as personally as possible increases the amount of donors who give again. And it influences the size of their next donation.
Not listening to this data is costing mosdos Torah so much lost support.
What did I find in my mini experiment?
Aside from an auto generated 'Thank You' receipt email by the online platform at the time of donation, I received just three 'Thank You' emails from 12 donations.
That means nine of the organizations never emailed a thank you. The first time I heard from them was at their next campaign, when they wanted my support again!
Not that these organizations didn't appreciate the support, but I suspect for most of them, they lacked a clear system and manpower to effectively thank their donors.
And it no doubt cost them support.
Process Is Key.
Let's say after a fundraising campaign, you receive five hundred donations. Some large, more medium, and many small donations. There's a simple way to equip yourself to deal effectively with effective thanking.
Decide up front HOW you'd like to thank your large, medium and smaller donors. Each requires a different amount of effort.
We call this a Thanking Protocol.
When deciding your organizations’ 'Thanking Protocol', take into account two important rules that the research shows.
RULE ONE to effective thanking is - SPEED
Use the 48 hour rule. Thank your donors within 48 hours of their donation. It's key.
RULE TWO to effective thanking is - PERSONAL
Make your thank you's as personal as possible.
Here's an example of a 'Thanking Protocol' for after any large campaign.
- Donors of $1000 or more, receive a personal call/text/email asap at the time they make their donation. A follow up call from you within 24 hours. A follow up snail mail note one week later.
- Donors of $250-$999 receive a thank you email within 48 hours. And a thank you phone call within 10 days of your campaign.
- Donors of less than $250 receive a thank you email within 48 hours.
This way, you'll make the 'art of thanking' something that makes each and every one of your donors feel so appreciated.
And next time you ask, they'll more likely give and give again.
B'Hatzlacha raba raba,