Stewardship of Virtual Donors

Donors who make a second gift the first year they begin supporting an organization, on average, are twice as likely to give next year. But how do you get this second gift? A quick thank you can help garner those additional donations, but what are some best practices when thanking donors?

In his white paper, “Donor Stewardship: Making Virtual Friends for Life,” Rick Christ, vice president of Amergent in Peabody, Mass., helped outline some options for thanking donors in the online space as opposed to direct mail.

  • Thank You Page — For immediate donor gratification used a donor page that thanks donors right after their gift is processed. During this time you can also invite them to watch organization videos or have them share their donation via Facebook.
  • Thank You Email — Although most organizations send something like this, the letter needs to be welcoming. “It should not be a receipt but a reception,” according to Heather Fignar, also of Amergent.
  • Thank You Letter — A common thank you device, the letter is much slower in getting to the donor. When using a thank you letter make sure it gets to the donor within four weeks and make it easy for a donor to opt out of receiving mail altogether.

About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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