Donor Care

Katya Andresen asks, Are you taking care of your donors?  What kind of experience do they have after they give?

Here’s a quick checklist to answer that question.  If you can’t check all the boxes, work on doing better.  The single most powerful thing you can do as a fundraiser is to take great care of the donors you have.


_ All donors thanked promptly
_ All donors thanked throughout the year

Personalization and Accuracy:

_Thank-yous are directed at the donor – not “Dear Friend”
_The gift amount is included and correct
_ Thank-yous reference the appeal or campaign that prompted the gift
_ Thank-yous are signed by a real person or include a real person’s name
_ I properly acknowledge gift designations and dedications


_ I express heartfelt thanks for the gift twice in each note
_ I also express gratitude for past support (when relevant)
_ I give credit to the donor for what will be achieved
_ The thank-you is a thank-you, not an appeal!  (It doesn’t ask for money again)

Useful Resources:

_Thank-yous include full contact information of my organization
_ Thank-yous include appropriate tax language
_I make clear how the gift will be used

Ongoing Communication:

_ I tell a good story or use a vivid example in every piece of outreach
_ I report to donors on their impact at least twice a year
_ I recognize donors after thanking them
_ I include the voices of donors in my outreach
_ I ask my donors for feedback

The more you care about your donors, the more they will care about your cause!


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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