Sometimes your customers donate money to you or your cause. So how do you thank donors?
Acknowledge Their Donation
One of my favorite podcasts is by the crew at Internet Business Mastery. Since I have found value in their informative podcasts, I mentioned them in an online forum at StartupNation.com. A month or so later, I was listening to their podcast’s segment where they give thanks for those that have linked to them. In that segment they mentioned my post in the forum and publicly thanked me.
Your donors may not ask for recognition, but when you give thanks, either publicly or privately, people feel validated in their decision to support you. Additionally, that recognition will motivate them to donate again or even spread the word about your organization.
My wife and I recently donated to a political campaign. Although our donation was a small amount, it was received with great fanfare. We received a thank you letter from the candidate and a “membership card” showing that we officially supported the campaign.
We were now part of the club and were invited into the team to help our candidate succeed. Our little donation opened the flood gates of inclusion and through crafty marketing messages, we felt that we truly had an impact on our candidate’s success.
Do you help your donors feel like they are a key part of the greater good? Do your donors feel like they are making a difference?
I use a simple personal organizer called PocketMod. After trying PDAs and other mechanisms, I always come back to this simple and portable organizer. PocketMod is free so I made a donation to the developer.
I didn’t immediately hear anything from him acknowledging my donation. However, several months later, I got an invitation to try out the new version of PocketMod during the exclusive beta period.
Do you give your donors special access or benefits? Are these surprises or expected results of a donation? You may need to balance the known incentives of donating with the occasional surprise bonus to help donors feel they are truly special.
Overcome Doubt and Concern
The easiest way to acknowledge a donation is to do nothing. However, this has serious consequences.
I have used online e-commerce software called Zen Cart on several of my web development projects. Since this software is free, I made a donation to support its continued development. Unfortunately, I never received any type of response or acknowledgment.
When donations go into a black hole, donors start to fill with doubts and concerns. Did they get my money? Was it lost? Embezzled? What happened?
Doubt and concern are major roadblocks as you try to develop a relationship with donors. Very few organizations only want a one time donation. You’ll want to count on the continued support of those that have donated in the past. Acknowledging and showing appreciation for their donations are foundational to a lifetime donor relationship.