“Thanks” is a six-letter word that should flow out of the mouth of a development professional even more naturally than the four-letter word “give.” There’s no better time to demonstrate that “thanks” in a tangible and memorable way. One effective method would be to launch a “Partner’s Circle” for mid-major donors and frequent donors – anyone with four or more gifts of any size during any one of the past three years. That recognizes consistency as well as ability to give larger gifts. Honor this exemplary commitment with a simple mailing. Nothing glitzy. But include a nice leather bookmark, certificate or other recognition medium that carries the Partner’s Circle ID prominently. A certificate has the advantage of featuring the donor’s name. Then, every time you communicate throughout the year, refer to the donor as a member of the Partner’s Circle. That gives the donor one more reason to give. “I’m a special part of this organization. I’m recognized. I’m key to their success.” You could also “seal the deal” on membership by following up with a seven-question questionnaire and an invitation to an event over the course of the year. That would add meat to the membership. The more ways you figure out how to say “thanks,” the more authentic your relationship will become.
Say “thanks” and mean it.
April 14, 2010