5 Ways to Thank and Recognize Your Donors Using Digital Tools & Social Media

5 Ways to Thank and Recognize Your Donors Using Digital Tools and Social Media

Julia Claire Campbell Nonprofits, Social Media, Video 1 Comment

5 Ways to Thank and Recognize Your Donors Using Digital Tools & Social MediaDonor attrition continues at a startling rate.

Some nonprofits are losing as many as 90% of their first-time donors on an annual basis!

The average across all types of donors isn’t much better, with about 59% of annual givers dropping off the radar each year.  

Let’s discuss why this may be happening, and what we can do better.

Join me on Wed, 11/15 on a FREE webinar all about thanking donors! Replay will also be available on demand. Click here to register!

3 Things All Donors Need

There are really just 3 things that all donors need after they make a gift, as they decide to continue their relationship with your nonprofit going forward.

a) They must receive a timely (read: immediate) and meaningful (read: not just an email receipt or a tax letter) acknowledgement of their contribution.

b) They must trust your organization to be a good steward of their funds.

c) They must understand the impact of their gift and what it helped to accomplish.

The diagram below pretty much sums up the miscommunication that is happening between what nonprofits want to tell their donors, and what they actually want to hear:

What a donor wants to hear from a charity

So how can we keep our donors feeling like they are making a meaningful difference? 

Here are 5 ways you can thank and acknowledge your donors using digital tools and social media.

1. Use Video

Video does not have to be an epic masterpiece! 

You can use a smartphone and create short, in-the-moment thank you videos.

The key is authenticity and getting a wide variety of voices to express their gratitude.

Video can be a great way to launch a major fundraising campaign, but it can also be the perfect way to wrap one up.

This video from Invisible Children was pushed out to supporters following the massively successful “25” campaign:

25 Recap Video from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

Free and Low-Cost Tools to Create Nonprofit Videos

  • Instagram and Snapchat: Record videos within the app, add enhancements (text overlay, stickers, filters), save to your phone and post on other channels.
  • Tools: Flyer, Animaker, After Effects
  • I love Animoto for editing and enhancing videos; put them in square format which works best on social media.  

2. Use Facebook Ads.

Nonprofits can boost a specific post from your Facebook Page or created a targeted standalone ad campaign.

Upload your donor list to Facebook Ads Manager and then target an ad to this specific audience.   

You can also boost/promote a donor thank you video or a great story of your impact to reach more people. 

Facebook Ads can be used to:

Showcase Results

Say Thank You

Highlight Accomplishments

Tips for Nonprofit Facebook Ads

  • Choose your objective wisely – for the purposes of thanking donors, the objective will most likely be reach (getting the message in front of as many people as possible) or video views.
  • You can ask donors to take an action, but it’s best just to thank them sincerely.
  • Choose colorful, eye-catching images with very little to no text – Facebook does not like text-heaving images.

3. Create Donor Spotlights.

One idea is to carry out a multi-channel campaign once per month or more, spotlighting a donor.

Lots of ideas for content creation – video interview which can then be embedded on the blog and added to the website, uploaded to social media, screen shot included in an email blast.

Write the “Spotlight” like a story: “Jane was always passionate about the environment. But when she found our local organization, she could experience it first hand.”

Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight


Donor Spotlight


4. Celebrate Giving Anniversaries.

Set up your donor database/giving software to automatically remind you.

Marketing automation can be used to thank donors on their one-year giving anniversary.

Consider sending donors a Happy Anniversary card at the 6 month mark – it may not be best to wait a full year.

Use all channels at your disposal: Phone, handwritten notes, email, social media post, tweet, etc.

Celebrate Giving Anniversaries

Celebrate Giving Anniversaries

Celebrate Giving Anniversaries

Celebrate Giving Anniversaries

5. Hold a Thank You Party!

This party can be in-person or virtual – or a combination of both! 

There are tons of free and low-cost tools to host a virtual party: Google Hangouts on Air, Zoom, Crowdcast, Skype

Be sure to focus on storytelling and showcasing impact, and gratitude!

Donor Appreciation Events

Donor Appreciation Events

Google Hangouts for Nonprofits

Google Hangouts for Nonprofits

What tips do you have to retain and thank donors? 

Join me on Wed, 11/15 on a FREE webinar all about thanking donors! Replay will also be available on demand. Click here to register!

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Comments 1

  1. Pingback: Fundraising Friday | November 17, 2017 | Pamela Grow

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