Any expert fundraiser will tell you that how you say 'thank you' is just as important as how you say 'please'. Here are five tips to effectively express your gratitude and make a recurring supporter out of its recipient.
Shiny, happy subject lines
Who doesn’t want good news? Make your email’s subject line conversational and personable and throw in some positive, feel-good words.Example: "We couldn’t have helped the kids of Uyui without you!"
Lead with your fundraising success
Ensure your message is to the point and that you waste no time in getting to the good stuff. Avoid preamble and immediately state the successes you’ve enjoyed as a result of your fundraising initiative:Example: "We recently returned from the Uyui district, Tanzania, where we assembled a small but mighty computer lab at the local school."
The next best thing to being there
Hearing about your successes is one thing, but seeing them is quite another! Share photos and video from you trip or event so that they can witness firsthand the good that they contributed to. This can be done by attaching photos to your email or including links to your Facebook, Flickr, YouTube or Vimeo accounts. Making your supporters feel like they were there may well inspire them to contribute to your next cause, too.
Give credit where credit is due
Particularly in the case of mass emails, be sure to name names when it comes to your contributors. Ensure that everyone is made to feel appreciated for their contribution and make special mention of your key supporters. Did someone donate $200 where the average donation was $20? Go ahead, name names. They'll appreciate the special thanks and it will serve as inspiration to others.Example: "Your generous donations allowed us to outfit the lab with a dozen new computers – and thanks to the generosity of Samual and Jane Stockwell, we were also able to provide two laserjet printers!"
Add a personal touch
Perhaps a group of 13 of you made the trip, so signing all of the names to the email may be a bit much. But instead of signing the famously generic “From all of us at…", have a group leader or event organizer sign with their name and title. It just feels more personal. Don't forget to add links to your website, personal Facebook and Twitter pages here, too.
P.S….Add a P.S.
After your signature, use this opportunity to promote upcoming causes, trips or fundraising events. This will prepare your email's recipients for your forthcoming support requests and will get them thinking about how (and how much) they may want to contribute the cause.
Have some fundraising ideas, tips or tricks that have worked well for you? Help other fundraising groups by posting them on our Facebook page."