Not-So-Obvious-But-Obvious Ways to Say Thanks

Photo by alborzshawn
09.27.2012By

Photo by alborzshawn

We’ve already covered the obvious ways to say thank you—which is clearly saying “thank you” to someone—but have you thought of the not-so-obvious ways your organization is showing its gratitude?

Oh yeah, there are many things your donors are seeing about you that can either say “we really appreciate what you’ve contributed to our cause” or something like “go away, you’re bugging us.”

Here are some ways you can improve your subtle thank yous to improve your donor’s takeaway from your organization:

Have Clear and Easy to Access Contact Info

Take a look at your website, Twitter and Facebook pages with fresh eyes. Even invite some of your friends to look at it also, and see if it’s obvious for your donors to get a hold of you. In my opinion, if there’s more than one click, you’re already creating hurdles for them to reach you.

In fact, sometimes I’ve seen Contact Us forms instead of phone numbers. For someone who needs your services, or even wants to make a donation, this is a deterrent. And trust me when I say you could be losing big opportunities for a donation without you even knowing.

So avoid this by putting your contact information in a very obvious location—like the footer of your website. And don’t add steps to filter the calls you get. Be open and welcoming. Literally, be a phone call away.

Be Sure Whoever Answers is Helpful

Think about the last time you called your local government office for something and almost punched a wall after dialing so many numbers, getting disconnected, so in the end, you didn’t get to talk to the person you wanted to, and ended up leaving a message in the abyss.

Frustrating, right? You have a simple request, and you think they can help you or at least point you in the right direction. They have the resources you don’t.

Your callers will think the same way of your org, so take the time to train your staff or phone operators to be as helpful as possible. This means being willing to go “off script” and doing something extra for that person. That caller won’t forget how helpful you were.

Lightning Fast Response Time

John wrote about this yesterday, and I completely agree. At minimum, check your Tweets and Facebook messages once a day. Most of the time you’ll get simple questions you can answer quickly. Your donor will be grateful, because they see you care and are attentive to their needs.

Be Available In Different Ways

The fax machine may have died to most people, but there are people out there who still depend on it; the same goes for snail mail. Offer up these different avenues of communications for those who feel more comfortable the old-fashioned way. It doesn’t cost much to keep these lines open.

The Shout-Outs

Instead of using your newsletter to focus solely on your org’s programs, why not add a weekly/monthly “shout-out” slot where you profile one of your donors or volunteers? This is a great way to show them your acknowledgment and gratitude for all they’ve done for you. And others will take note that you took the time to notice them. It leaves a positive lasting impression.

Other Ideas?

It sounds strange, but when someone has trouble getting in touch with your organization—whether they can’t find your number on a website, or can’t get someone to respond to an email—they’ll get the impression that you’re actively trying to avoid them.

What other subtle ways could we show donors our gratitude?

 

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  • Great tips for any non-profit! As someone who contacts a lot of non-profits, I have seen many frustrating contact us pages. I would add that even if you have a contact form, list your e-mail address and please avoid those word puzzle requirements when sending a message! I would also say that a non-profit shouldn’t feel pressured to be in each social media venue. For example, if you don’t have time to tweet, then don’t have a Twitter account.

    • I hear your frustration. It’s surprising how the little things matter so much. And I agree; nonprofits should focus on the social channels that will help deliver their goals, then dedicate the time/resources needed to get there. Thanks for stopping by!