The six most important words in fundraising are thank you, thank you, thank you.

A personal thank you can go a long way. And it can keep you from disaster. One study found 53% of donors who stop supporting an organization do so because of a lack of communication. Some in that group reported never getting thanked at all.

Maybe you spent the last part of December asking people for support. Well, let’s take the first month of the new year to say thanks.

And more specifically, go ahead and make an effort to personally thank your best donors.

Here’s exactly what to do.

  1. Run a report of everyone who gave money to your organization last year. If you don’t have access to this information, ask someone to do it for you.
  2. Single out your top ten donors. It’s great to thank everyone, but today, we’re just going to focus on thanking your top ten donors. Why is this so important? Because those ten individuals contributed significant part of your total budget. They don’t need to be treated like everyone else because they are not like everyone else.
  3. Send a personal note and a gift. Don’t send an email and don’t send a form letter. These ten people need to hear from you personally. Hand write a thank you note, and stick it in a hand-addressed envelope.Send the note along with a gift. Yes, spend a little bit of money thanking your best donors. Send a thoughtful gift, not a trinket like a mouse pad or a pen. Here are three gift ideas.
    1. A Moleskin notebook imprinted with your ministry logo. can do it for you.
    2. A good book that was meaningful to you. Get ten copies of the same book and reference it in your thank you note.
    3. Pizza! You can order a pizza from Lou Malniti’s, one of the best pizzas in Chicago and ship it on dry ice to your best donors. They will enjoy it with their family and really appreciate the gift. It’s hard to get a better gift than pizza!

Remember, we’re only talking about ten people, so you can do this.   It will mean a lot to your donors and will go a long way toward keeping them engaged throughout the next year.

Additional Resources

Sometime it’s the little things that can make a big difference. We’ve put together a robust list of extremely practical ways to show your appreciation for those who give generously to support your ministry. Here is a list of ‘Little Things’ you can do to care for your donors.

Keep up the great work!

– The Ministry Ventures Team

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