‘Don’t forget to say thank you’: The Effect of an Acknowledgment on Donor Relationships
Donor attrition is a major cause of concern for non-profit organizations. Non-profits can improve retention by nurturing donor relationships; acknowledging or thanking the donor is a vital building block in the non-profit organization–donor relationship.
The findings of one study indicate that acknowledgments enhance positive emotions and alleviate negative emotions; the converse effect is observed when the donor does not get a thank-you note. Thus acknowledging the donor’s gift provides a promising means of fostering donor relationships and retaining donors.
Some examples for you:
Example 1: Corporate Donation to Public Organization / Library / Non-Profit
Dear Mr. Howe:
Your check for $5,500 arrived today. We appreciate so much your contributing to our fund for establishing a training center to focus on the literacy needs in our local community.
Thanks to companies such as yours, families can now raise their standard of living as fathers and mothers learn to read and thus become qualified to handle more rewarding jobs. Children can hear their parents read them a bedtime story for the first time. Grandparents can complete their health insurance claims and read a map to travel across the city.
We hope it gives you great personal satisfaction to know with this donation you’ve helped to give many people a fresh start toward their life’s goals and dreams. Thank you.
Example 2: Donation to Mission or Church Project
Company Name or Letterhead
City, State Zip
City, State Zip
Dear Ms. Gorbachev:
Thank you for your recent contribution of furniture and tools to our mission. This contribution will help us improve the quality of life for persons who are handicapped and disadvantaged in our community. Specifically, the donations translate into training and work opportunities for several individuals you may or may not chance to meet. The feelings of independence and self-worth that come with both are something we all need and value.
We thank you for your partnership in this important ministry.
Example 3: Corporation Supporting an Arts Initiative
Dear Mr. Hanes:
Thank you very much for your March 4th letter enclosing a check for $2,000 from your corporation to the Rysome Arts Campaign. Our first project, using your money, will be to restore the landmark Hoffine Museum’s facade, thus drawing more tourism into the area, stimulating the local economy and driving business to your establishment.
It has been most gratifying to observe the response of companies such as yours to the appeal of this campaign on behalf of the arts in our community. Particularly, I was encouraged by the statement of your intention to increase your support next year.
We commend you for your vision and your generosity in supporting the well-being of this community in ways that benefit sustainable cultural and economic growth.