Your year-end nonprofit fundraising efforts have been effective. The question now is, how do you thank your donors? Some traditional forms of thanking major gift donors include sending personal “thank-you” notes, small gifts, or inviting them for a behind-the-scenes tour or a special event. Personal “thank yous” of all kinds are important and should never be overlooked for major gift donors; the challenge is how to thank all your other donors in a way that is time and cost-effective, yet still has impact. This is where social media can come into play. With social media at your finger tips there are so many creative, cost-effective, timely ways to recognize your donors. So, we are going to introduce 5 fun ways to thank your donors using social media, that won’t break the bank!
- Post a Heart-Felt Thank You on Facebook
In addition to a personal “Thank You” note, you can also thank your donors using your Facebook page. Draft a thoughtful letter and address it to all of your donors. Share this note on your Facebook page and ask followers to like, comment, and share! Facebook also offers a host of multimedia options so you can include a picture, custom graphic, or video (this is important).
By doing this you will be reaching a wider audience and really letting people know what your donors mean to you and your organization.
- Give a Shout-Out on Twitter
The very nature of Twitter is to be quick, short, and off-the-cuff. Use this outlet to publish fun, friendly shout-outs to your donors in real-time. When a donor completes an online donation, ask them to provide their Twitter handle if they would like a shout-out. If they aren’t on Twitter they can still opt to have you tweet their name on the micro-blogging platform. If they do provide a handle, then you have the perfect opportunity to really engage!
- Make a YouTube Video
If you’re active on a video sharing platform, like YouTube or Vimeo, take advantage of your prime real estate and give a video shout-out. You can thank all of your donors in one, heart-felt video, or you can use a micro-blogging platform, like Vine, to thank them individually, if you have received their permission to do so.
Plus, plan ahead next year and you can gather footage from nonprofit fundraising events, interviews with donors and volunteers, and images depicting your nonprofit in action to include in the montage.
- Start a Hashtag
Hashtags are labels, signified by the # symbol followed by a word or phrase, used to mark keywords or topics on social media. The hashtag began on twitter but has since moved to many other social platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
Florida International University (FIU) had the right idea when they decided to ask students to write their “thank-you” notes for donors on a piece of paper and take a picture of it with the hashtag, #FIUThanks. You can follow their lead by asking board members and volunteers to take pictures with their “thank you” notes and creating a hashtag to go with it. This way, all of the images can be easily found by searching for the hashtag on social media sites.
- Create a Custom Graphic for Instagram
Instagram is the perfect platform for turning candid photos into high-quality keepsakes. Since Instagram is a photo sharing platform, you can take advantage of its image-enhancing capabilities and how it connects to other social sites to share your photos.
To thank your donors, consider creating an all-encompassing “thank you” image using a cost-effective photo editor like the one listed here. Whether you use a patterned background or an event photo, it doesn’t matter! Just add some text and publish to your Instagram account for all to see.
When you reflect on your nonprofit fundraising successes and the generous donors you came into contact with in 2014, remember that social media is a great outlet to express your gratitude. And as you move forward in 2015, keep these tips in mind for continuing conversation with your donors online!
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