November is a season of gratitude and giving. It’s also a busy time of the year. Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, the winter holiday shopping rush kicks into high gear and holiday parties start in earnest. And that’s just the personal side of things.
That frenetic pace is also part and parcel of a nonprofit professional’s day, from launching your #GivingTuesday drive to putting the finishing touches on your year-end fundraising campaign and everything in between, you’ve got a full plate (pun intended). While it may seem crazy to contemplate adding one more thing to your long to-do list, Thanksgiving provides the perfect time to let donors, volunteers and staff—all the people who help your organization accomplish its mission—know how grateful you are for their support.
If you’re like many nonprofits limited resources may mean you only communicate with supporters for two reasons: to ask for contributions of time or money and to convey your heartfelt thanks for those contributions.
Thanksgiving provides an opportunity for another touchpoint; a rare chance to express your unsolicited sincere appreciation. Don’t ask for anything. Don’t ask them to like or follow you on social media. Don’t ask them for their time or money. Don’t refer to the upcoming year-end appeal. Just tell supporters that, on this Thanksgiving holiday, your nonprofit organization is thankful for them.
Yes, thanking your supporters will require an investment of time but, squeezing it into your packed schedule can be an invaluable outlay of your time. Taking the time to thank supporters is a wonderful way to deepen connections and grow relationships.
It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. In fact, keeping it simple will only help to underline your genuine appreciation. Here are four things you can do right now to thank your supporters this Thanksgiving:
Post on Facebook.
Facebook is a great place to post a message of thanks to the people that help your organization. Just a simple thank you is ideal.
Send an email.
This is the perfect time to send a simple, quick email to your donors, volunteers and staff to thank them for their support. It doesn’t have to be long or involved; just a basic thank you will do. Consider including a link to a success story on your website that they can choose to read at their leisure to enhance the message.
Write a thank you note.
Although much of today’s correspondence is done through email, a quick note sent through traditional mail can have a big impact. As with email, there’s no need for a complicated message; keep it short and sincere. Bonus points if it’s handwritten.
Make a phone call.
While you probably don’t have the time or capacity to call every supporter, consider calling your top or long-time donors and volunteers, or segment the list in a way that makes sense and doesn’t overwhelm you or your staff. Take advantage of this special occasion to thank someone personally.
Post on your website.
Make sure donors, volunteers and staff who visit your website feel appreciated with a message of thanks for everyone who contributes to your success.
There may be no better time to thank the people who mean the most to your organization.
Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!