Six Ways to Show Appreciation for Your Donors
Fact: giving of any kind requires sacrifice on the part of your community.
When you choose to spend your money somewhere, you’re giving up the opportunity to spend it somewhere else. And when people in your congregation say “yes” to giving to your ministry, they’re subsequently saying “no” to using it somewhere else. That’s sacrifice.
The act of giving to your church means your people made the choice to give up something else in favor of supporting your ministry.
And that’s not something we as church leaders should ignore!
It’s so important to let your people know that you not only see the sacrifice they made to give, but also that you appreciate it.
Now, don’t get overwhelmed with questions like, “How can I possibly thank all of my donors?” or “Who has time to do this for every single person who gives?” It doesn’t have to be a huge gesture, and you don’t have to do it alone! Even the smallest act of gratitude can go a long way, and a team of people to help you do it can make it simple!
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No matter what giving processing system you use, it still important to thank your donors and make them feel like they are a vital part of something important. Take a look at just a few things you can do to show your appreciation for your donors.
1. Send a Note.
Think back to when your mom made you write those thank you notes to every person who brought a present to your birthday party. Annoying at the time, right? Well, once you became an adult and started actually buying the present yourself, you probably appreciated those thank you notes acknowledging your gifts. The same is true here! A handwritten note is one of the most powerful ways you can say thank you to your donors. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out note; just a few quick sentences from you or someone on your leadership team will do. A little time and postage are a small price to pay in return for their gift to your church.
2. Thank Them In Person.
There’s nothing like looking someone in the eye and showing your appreciation for what they’ve done for you! Find a way to say thank you to as many of your donors in person as possible. Now while we know you can’t go out in search of every single person who has donated to your ministry to thank him or her on Sunday morning, you can make a point to find at least one or two each week. Go out of your way, shake their hand, and let them know personally how much you appreciate their gift. Make it sound casual and yet purposeful. It’s a truly meaningful and effective way to not only show your appreciation, but also get to know the people in your congregation -- you can learn the ministries and programs they are most excited about, too.
3. Give Them a Call.
We know… nobody makes phone calls anymore! But trust us, that’s what makes it all the more effective. Show your people you care by taking the time to pick up the phone and let them know. Again, much like a thank you note, this doesn’t have to be a major, time-consuming event. Print out a list of donors and divide it amongst your leadership team (you can make a short list by focusing on those who are most involved or the more major donors, if you have a very large congreagation). Spend an hour or so making calls to let your donors know you appreciate their sacrifice. If they don’t answer, leave a voice mail and move on! Even a short message to say thanks won’t go unnoticed.
4. Share It Online.
Everyone is on social media these days. Why not use your platforms to give a public shout out to those who donated to your ministry. Get on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share a post with the names or faces of your donors. Keep it simple by saying something like, “These people made it possible to send our students to camp this summer,” or “Thank you to these incredible donors who donated to our mission project this month.” No matter if they gave a little or a lot, a public thank you affirms your appreciation. Just be aware of those who want to remain anonymous and avoid including them in your posts.
5. Tell a Story.
Stories are some of the most powerful tools we have when it comes to giving. What better way to thank the people who donated to support a ministry at your church than to show them how their dollars were used to impact specific lives? Create a video showcasing how the money was used. Get written or video testimonies of lives that were changed as a result and share those with your donors and on your church website. Remind your donors that their dollars made it happen and celebrate what God did in the lives of those in your congregation and community because their gifts allowed for the opportunity.
6. Throw a Party.
Remember, for many giving can feel like an obligation. That’s why it’s important for you to do what you can to make it fun for your congregation! You should be rejoicing in the work the Lord is doing in your church, not drudging thru yet another week of writing a thank-less check. Put on a party to celebrate your donors and give them a little fun in return. Cater in a great meal, put on a special concert, arrange for them all to do something cool in your town (pool party, pro sports game, picnic, etc.). Sometimes the best way to say thank you is to simply have a good time together.