Did you ever have to write a report in school of what you did over the summer recess? It can be fun to look back and remember the relaxing days of a vacation, the sites visited on a trip to another location, or the improvements accomplished at home thanks to extra time to tackle them.

As you are looking ahead to the last quarter of 2017, don’t forget to take time to share your “summer scrapbook” with your donors. Of course, this is figurative, not literal, but letting your donors see recent progress your organization has made can encourage them to help you do even more before year-end. Here are some ways to report to them:

  • Send a single photo that tells a great story, along with a short note that thanks the donor for helping make whatever the photo shows possible. For example, if you offer summer camp to low-income children, send a photo of kids enjoying the lake with a note, “These boys and girls made some great memories at camp this summer – and I want you to know how thankful they were that you helped make that possible.”
  • Drop a mini-newsletter in your receipts that include a few short “success” vignettes. This not only gives your donor added confidence that his or her gift mattered, but it helps them picture the good things that happen when they give.
  • Call some key donors and update them on your summer activities. While it’s natural to contact your major donors, consider also contacting some who give small amounts consistently. (This can be a good way to utilize older volunteers.)
  • Post an infographic on your website and social media pages highlighting accomplishments. Provide statistics and one-sentence quotes that add heart.
  • If you regularly get phone calls or notes from donors, provide short stories that can be used when responding. This can be as simple as telling a caller, “Mrs. Jones, one of the people we help because of donors like you recently told us, ‘I don’t know what I would do without you!’ Thank you for helping make that response possible.”

With all the different tools that fundraisers need to employ, it can hard to find time for saying thank you and giving donors updates on success. But making time for that now can encourage and engage your donors – and that often gives year-end fundraising a boost.