Category Archives: Nonprofit Public Relations

Ways Nonprofits Can Show Appreciation to Contributors

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Many nonprofits struggle to find financing, bring attention to their cause, or to convert one time gifts into long term donations.  Because of this, finding ways to help donors feel appreciated is often a primary concern for many nonprofits. 

The following five ideas are just a few of the many ways nonprofits can show their appreciation to contributors. By making contributors feel valued, they are more likely to want to donate to your organization again in the future.

1. Add a personal touch
A phone call, handwritten note, or a coffee date with a contributor can make a big impact on their desire to make future donations. Thank you’s that are personal or given in person often mean much more than a form letter of appreciation.

2. Show them what their contribution does
Contributors like to see what their money is going to support. Rather than showing them a graph that breaks down how each dollar is spent, show donors the tangible results of their donation, such as photos of the new addition that is being built or a video of children receiving new clothes and toys. This creates an emotional connection with donors and encourages them to contribute in the future.

3. Remember important dates
Call or send a note to contributors to commemorate the anniversary of the first year they donated. Likewise, send information around birthdays, anniversaries, or other holidays about how to make donations to your organization in lieu of traditional gifts.

4. Keep communicating
Don’t stop talking to a contributor for the year once they make a donation. “The more a supporter gives, the more you need to communicate with him or her,” said Ruthellen Rubin, a professor at NYU’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy & Fundraising. Cultivating a relationship with a donor and communicating with them throughout the year often encourages them to donate more and more frequently.

5. Acknowledge their donation
Whether it is a certificate of appreciation, a plaque, a calendar, or a pen, donors often like to receive something in exchange for their contribution. Online printing companies like Vistaprint offer low cost items such as mugs, shirts, calendars, or stickers that can be customized with any logo or message. In addition, thank you’s created by the people your nonprofit serves – like a banner signed by the members of a youth orchestra the donor helped fund – may mean more than anything else.

Ways Nonprofits Can Show Appreciation to Volunteers

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Volunteers are often the heart and soul of any nonprofit organization. 

Recognizing volunteers helps them feel motivated, reenergized, and appreciated. By showing them your appreciation, they are more likely to want to continue volunteering with your organization. The following five ways nonprofits can show appreciation to volunteers are just a few ideas to help your volunteers feel more valued.

1. Honor volunteers’ commitment

Showing your volunteers you appreciate them doesn’t have to involve a black tie awards banquet (although it certainly can!). There are a number of big and small ways that organizations can show their volunteers they are appreciated. Highlighting a “Volunteer of the Month” on your website or in a newsletter is an excellent way to show appreciation for dedicated volunteers. Likewise, make sure to recognize milestones like how long a volunteer has been with the organization or reaching a certain number of hours spent volunteering. Seeing their commitment honored in print or with a small token of appreciation can go a long way in helping volunteers feel that their time is valued.

2. Share success stories

Volunteers like to see the difference their contributions are making. Share success stories about the ways that their time and contributions impact your organization and changes people’s lives. Likewise, showcase photos taken at recent events or follow up with people the organization has helped in the past. 

3. Provide a meal or snacks

Providing snacks or a meal to volunteers can keep them happy, engaged, and motivated. This is especially true for volunteers who are working through a meal time or for long hours. Studies have shown that providing food can create positive attitudes, encourage socialization, and inspire feelings of reciprocity. All of these add up to a volunteer force that is more likely to come back time and again.

4. Create bigger roles

Regular volunteers may be able to take on bigger roles within your organization. Many volunteers may have experience in the corporate realm or with other leadership roles; this makes them perfect to serve as advisors, consultants, board members, or team leaders. While some volunteers are happy to just show up and do whatever task is assigned to them, others will appreciate having a larger, more involved role in the organization.

5. Value connections
While some volunteers may come to your organization because they are truly dedicated to the cause, many come because they were invited by friends, family, or coworkers. Honor these connections by placing volunteers who know each other in positions where they can interact or signing them up for the same shift. Most people will be thankful to spend the extra time with friends or family just as you’re thankful for their time!

Happy volunteers can have a big impact on a nonprofit organization. If volunteers feel that they are valued and their time is well spent, they will not only continue to work for your organization, but will invite others to volunteer with them. Because of this, taking the time to honor volunteers can have a big impact on your organization!