There is nothing more important in maintaining a relationship than knowing how to express gratitude. This dictum is especially important when forging a partnership with your donors.

Sunset off the Coast of Costa Rica

First and foremost, take the time always to thank your supporters. Send receipts to your donors, no matter how small the gift is. The nominal amount of money you spend on postage will ensure greater investment from donors in the future. Gratitude lets your supporters know you care about them; organizations that thank their donors promptly tend to experience greater retention rates than those who do not.

Your donors’ satisfaction needs to be in the front of your mind at all times. It is helpful to think of it like this:

  • Nonprofits retain loyalty by operating as a donor-centered organization and carrying out a comprehensive relationship-building program.
  • Nonprofits build relationships by focusing on donor-centered communications and by offering extraordinary experiences to their supporters.

The common theme here is a “donor-centric” approach to fundraising. As committed as your organization is to its cause, you cannot make any difference without your donors’ support. Furthermore, your donors will not know if your organization is making a difference unless you consistently communicate with them and keep them updated on your progress. It is essential that a nonprofit place the donor at the center of its efforts.

Saying “thank-you” is so important precisely because it lets your donors know that they are helping accomplish a good. Show gratitude and your organization will see more committed and loyal donors.

See NonProfit Quarterly for more.