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7 Of 7 - EOY Series: Gratitude And Cultivation

Are you prepared for what happens after EOY?  Here are some tips and important questions to consider:

What is your organization's gratitude strategy? 
Are you getting that timely, personalized thank you message out to your donors?  Some of the most impactful thank you messages I've received after donating, included images of the people, animals, etc that would benefit from my help.  "Thank you for your donation, Rachel!  Your gift means Alex will have fresh water OR The Smith family will have a meal on Thanksgiving OR Paul the Pound Puppy will finally get a dog bed...."  Having an immediate idea of who or what my donation might be going towards (reinforced by their name & photo), not only lets me know that my gift was appreciated, but makes me want to give even more.

What are other ways that you can make your donors feel special and appreciated?  In case it's helpful, here's a list of the different thank yous I've received after making a donation as well as a few additional suggestions:
 
  • Phone call thanks/follow-up
  • Signed thank you card in the mail
  • Thank you video from the org team
  • Donor thank you event
  • Shout-out on social media
  • And if you've got the budget for it--there's always actual thank you gifts:
    • Fridge magnet
    • A miniature planter with soil and seeds to plant in it
    • Bracelets - silicone with your org name/slogan or woven with your org colors
    • Nice photo of the individuals who were helped by the donor's gift

Is your welcome series up to par?
If your answer is no, then we can help!  We've got an Automated Welcome and Donor Series kit below that will allow your organization to make a proper first impression.  There are guides included within the kit to help you get started, so be sure to check them out! 

If you'd like more in-depth information from one of our Blackbaud University Instructors, then you might be interested in their online Welcome Series class next week. Registration link is below.

What is your cultivation strategy for 2017?
What is your plan after the initial thank you/engagement emails?  Typically, you have multiple groups to think about--New Donors, New Constituents, Existing Donors & Constituents, and of course your Sustaining Donors.  How will you keep them engaged and connected throughout the year? Don't forget to share the impact that donor gifts have made, share your wins, and if it makes sense for your organization--share your losses.

This is where data and analyzing your audience become especially important.  Click the webinar link below to register for It's January 1. Now What? where we'll give you strategic hints for your direct marketing program. 

One last bit of advice would be to try and sync up your short-term & long-term goals with your annual communication calendar (i.e., are your newsletters, social media posts, direct mail, etc. in line & complimentary to your organization's goals?)

Thanks so much for checking out our EOY blog series.  There are so many more tools/channels/resources at your disposal today than ever before, and our goal is to help you find the right ones to maximize your Year-End success.  We've shared tons of information with you, so if you have any questions or just need a sounding board regarding your EOY Campaign, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager.

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Posted by Rachel Shields on Nov 1, 2016 4:22 PM America/New_York