Taking care of your volunteers and donors

It’s the time of year where many of us are creating annual reports and compiling the highlights of another year gone by. When doing so, it might be a good idea to specifically remember donors and volunteers who generously contributed their time and money to help your organization achieve its goals.  Continually thanking your supporters as well as keeping them informed is a necessary part of keeping them.   Here are three ideas to inspire you this Holiday Season.

  1. End of the Year Review
    Many of us receive colorful and inspiring newsletters from friends and family each December, providing highlights of their year. In the same manner, why not construct a similar newsletter and pack it with photographs of highlights of the year gone by?  Keep the tone conversational and friendly. Your supporters will feel good about all the work everyone accomplished.  So will you.
  2. Personal Letters
    There’s a perceptible difference in a letter that has been personally written for one person instead of a mailing list.  Although it is time consuming, personal letters stand out and are memorable. Consider recruiting those who have been directly affected by a volunteer or a donor to write a letter. Ask staff to pick one person to thank. Consider those people who have generously given and write a heartfelt letter.  For instance, one Development Officer writes the same University student every year.  The student donates a small monthly contribution, but proportionally speaking, the donations are a significant amount of his nearly non-existent disposable income.
  3. Thank you Tweets
    Feature volunteers and donors by selecting one everyday and tweeting about them. Use a standard format so your followers understand that the tweets are special thank you’s.  Here’s an example: Featured Star: John Hammond for hand delivering blankets to homeless during the freezing nights in November. #yourorgnamethanks If room permits and you have images to share, provide a photo link in the tweet.

Passionate and committed supporters are hard to come by.  Once you have them, take the extra steps to keep them. Holiday newsletters, personal letters, and featured tweets are three ways you can make your volunteers and donors feel appreciated at the end of the year.