How do you thank your donors? In person at your events? Via a handwritten note? A typed letter that doubles as a tax receipt? If you could show appreciation to your donors in a special way, what would that look like?
For the specifics and what’s required from a tax standpoint, Tony Martignetti and Emily Chan produced a helpful podcast for the Chronicle of Philanthropy which you can listen to here.
But what about beyond that?
The adage that happy customers share their experience with two people and unhappy ones tell 10 has been multiplied with the onset of social media platforms. A good word goes a long way. Recently a business acquaintance of mine offered to add me to his good news mailing list. Each day he sends his recipients a New York Times story about something positive that’s happening in the world. I feel inundated with bad news from much of the media, so this is an email I’m looking forward to getting in my inbox each day.
Sending an article is a way for someone to know you’re thinking of them. Thinking beyond that, recognizing your supporters in your social media channels lets others know you appreciate the work that supporter is doing for your organization. Ask them and your other followers to share the good news. This can expand your reach in ways you might not have achieved otherwise.
In Gary Vaynerchuk’s The Thank You Economy, he writes that with social media, never before have businesses and organizations been able to interact so personally with their customers. He says that not in generations have we had the opportunity to get to know our customers so personally and show them how much we care about them. Though social media marketing has its challenges, if managed correctly, relationship management through these channels will go a long way to spread the good word of your organization.
Consider how you can toot your donors’ horns via social media as part of your retention efforts. Make the good stuff go viral! Let word of mouth through social media take over.