Effectively Welcoming New Donors

After a new donor makes their initial donation, what does your nonprofit do? Do you call and say thank you? Do you put together a personalized packed of thank you and welcome materials? Do you combine physical mail pieces with digital?
Today, personalization and communication is key to making donors feel appreciated and retaining contributions that your nonprofit needs. In many cases, Lisa Sargent of Blackbaud found that nonprofits were simply mailing a generic letter ten weeks later to new donors without any personalization or warmth.
To fix this problem and help your organization retain these donors, she has come up with a three-step process that will at least leave donors feeling connected to your organization and more likely to give again the following year.
Step One. Promptly leave a voicemail on their answering machine to say thank you and update them that a letter from the president will be arriving for them shortly. This is a quick and easy way to get them impressed with your nonprofit right away and letting them hear an actual voice will bring your organization to life.
Step Two. Deliver on this letter. Include a warm welcome and thank you note from your president that is addressed to the donor. Highlight, without going into too much depth, about the wonderful programs your organization can carry out with their contribution. Inform them that a welcome packet will be coming with more details in the coming weeks.
Step Three. Deliver this packet within three weeks of the previous letter. Place a simple “Thank you! And welcome…” on the outside, including personalization if possible. Finally, you need to put together said packet. Below I will discuss the possibilities of what you can include.
Start with a letter from the CEO that reiterates the thank you and welcome message and provides contact information if your donor has any questions at any point in time. Following this, you can include a story of success that your donor has actually helped bring about. Do not use a generic story from 2010; it will make all the difference if the donor can learn about how they have made an impact on Taylor’s life.

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