A simple thank you can go a long way.

If you want to experience consistent Planned Giving success, then it’s essential that you incorporate showing gratitude into all of your fundraising efforts.

Whether a donor gives $5 or $50,000 they deserve an acknowledgement and thank you for their gift. This isn’t just good manners, it’s a fundamental step toward building relationships that might start small, but can grow over time to include significant planned gifts. As I pointed out recently, you never know which donors might end up being your Planned Giving prospects.

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. And nearly all donors have an expectation that their contribution – no matter what size – will be acknowledged (for donations $250 and up a written acknowledgement of a gift received is required by law).

Typically, a thank you note will suffice. If you can make it handwritten, all the better. Beyond that, look for creative ways to show appreciation, such as acknowledging donors in your newsletters or periodically calling donors directly to thank them and share how their donation will benefit your organization. (Those thank you calls are terrific for board engagement!)

For Planned Giving donors, establishing a recognition society that highlights their contributions in a range of ways can pay big dividends. Your recognition society offers you the opportunity to publicly acknowledge your donors, while also serving as subtle encouragement for others to consider a planned gift.

Multiple studies have found that showing gratitude not only benefits the person being appreciated, but also anyone who witnesses the exchange. There is also research indicating that those who show the gratitude are more enthusiastic and engaged.

So be sure to take the time to show your appreciation to all your donors.

I thank you for reading.