The words “thank you” are part of our everyday vocabulary. We thank others for opening a door, saying “bless you” when we sneeze, and all sorts of acts big and small. We understand the importance of showing people appreciation for the kind things they do for us; it makes them feel valued and increases the chances they will show us the same kindness again. So why don’t we show our donors the same appreciation?
Not thanking your donors is the easiest way to lose them. One donor loyalty study found that 13.2% of respondents cancelled their support for an organization because their donation was never acknowledged. On the other hand, acknowledging donors, especially less frequent donors, strengthens their relationship with a nonprofit and makes them more likely to donate repeatedly.
For those of you who do remember to thank your donors, your methods could probably use an update. Most nonprofits communicate with donors via offline channels (e.g. mail, telemarketing) or email, but there’s a far more effective method. 80% of today’s consumer internet traffic is video, and video is a far more engaging and flexible way to communicate with donors. For example, with video, donors can see the impact of their donation directly, or receive an audible “thank you” from a real person rather than one that’s written or typed. Videos can capture human emotions and make it easier for donors to connect to and trust your people enough to donate.
So how do you show your gratitude beyond a video “thank you”? Well, it takes a little creativity, but we here at GiveMagic believe that structuring your video around appreciation, recognition, or impact is the perfect starting point! Not sure how to do that? Let’s dive into what those categories entail.
Appreciation focused videos are simple and sweet. Here, you produce a short video of a staff member actually saying the words “thank you” to express their appreciation for your donors. These videos can be personalized to thank your donors individually or in groups (all new donors in July!). They can also feature anywhere from 1 person to your entire team. For example, think about doing a “Thank You Train”: walk through your workspaces and have everyone on sight wave and say thank you to your donors! The ideas are endless, but the importance of saying that “thank you” cannot be overstated.
You may already have a system in place that recognizes individual donors’ contributions. Maybe you put every donors’ name on a wall or use their stories as part of your marketing efforts, but you can take your recognition further by capturing these moments! To make donors feel welcomed into your team, film your staff putting up their recognition plaque or posting their Instagram feature, and make sure the clip is full of enthusiasm and cheer. Then all you have to do is hit send. The more energy you put in to celebrating their donation the more positive they feel about the donation experience, which can lead to repeated giving!
Donors are always interested in the specifics of what their money is being used for, so why not show them! Film someone from your team talking about the impact of a donor’s individual donation: what did it buy, who did it pay, and how it otherwise supported your mission. You can also share the effect of all your donations collectively to demonstrate that small contributions can have a huge impact together! Make sure to get clips not only of interviews, but also of the items purchased and the people receiving support. Showing the end result of a donation is a great way to remind donors that their contribution makes a real tangible difference!
While videos that focus on just one of these categories are extremely effective, you can also combine the 3 methods into one! Clips of people saying “thank you”, of staff receiving a donation and sharing what it becomes, and of your team showing the tangible way you recognize donors make for a well-rounded thank you video your donors will love!
By focusing video thank you's on one of these three goals, or combining them, you can easily create video content that is meaningful to donors and will earn their loyalty.