The Power of Thank You Cards in Your Church
In our personal lives, “thank you” cards may seem like a rarity. It’s uncommon for most people to sit down and think up a thank you note on paper for all the little things people do for them. In the world of nonprofits and churches, though, the power of “thank you” has never meant more. This makes church thank you cards an absolute necessity.
Perhaps in part due to the fact that “thank you” cards are so rare, when churches take the time to send them out to those who deserve them, it can really make a difference in donor retention, experience, and overall commitment to your cause. Are you wondering how you can incorporate the power of “thank you” cards into your church? Here are some ideas.
Best Practices for Church Thank You Cards
A card doesn’t have to be written on a piece of paper and sent out via snail mail, although paper “thank you” cards can really add a personal touch that your donors will remember. Whether you decide to send out “thank you’s” via email, over the phone, or by dedicating a social media post or article on your blog, remember these best practices.
Make It Direct
A blanket “thank you” doesn’t mean very much, even if you have good intentions. It means a lot more to your volunteers if you take the time to write out personalized cards for each of them rather than writing a bulk message that they all know took you a couple minutes to scribble out.
Time is scarce and highly valuable, but it’s worth investing some of your time into creating personalized acknowledgements and accolades for your church’s best donors and volunteers. These supporters are a highly valuable resource, after all, and it’s beyond worthwhile to recognize and encourage their on-going efforts.
Make It Powerful
Personalizing a “thank you” note is about more than merely including their name. To make a “thank you” powerful, you should get specific about exactly what you appreciate the person for. This can do wonders in telling the recipient that you do realize, recognize, and appreciate all the things they do. Writing a “thank you” note for even the small gestures can really add up, whether it’s the first time that person has contributed or the hundredth.
Some may be tireless supporters for your church while others are just finding ways to get more involved. In any case, everyone needs accolades and encouragement to ensure their efforts are recognized. These little “thank you” notes can truly empower someone to continue and grow their involvement.
Make It a Habit
Sending out a weekly “thank you” card to the same person is sure to lose its luster. However, you should make writing “thank you” cards a habit for yourself. There are enough people in your church that deserve a thank you — be it a donor, volunteer, staff member, or even a first-time visitor — that if you get in the routine of spending time writing thank-you notes each week, you’ll always find someone new to write something meaningful to.
If you get in the routine of writing “thank you” cards, you’ll also approach your day-to-day activities with a different mindset. Now, next time someone makes a contribution or you see a new face, you’ll be more motivated to reach out to them, knowing that you have time in your schedule to sit down and give them a welcome that they’ll remember.
How to Use Thank You Cards
Your “thank you” notes can be presented in many forms, be it a physical card, a message while you’re on stage, or even a video shared on Facebook. Some situations call for public recognition, while others may desire a more delicate, personal touch.
For instance, that first-time attendee may not like being personally addressed in your next Facebook post as they may feel a bit called out or uncomfortable with the attention. It’s up to you to decide what type of “thank you” is appropriate for the various circumstances you’re thankful for. To give you some ideas, here’s when and how you can use a “thank you” to communicate with your donors.
Send a “Thank You” With the Quarterly Statement
Most congregations give their donors a statement of giving at the end of each quarter. This statement in itself can help inspire future gifts, especially if you take the time to write a personalized letter to your biggest and newest donors. Quantifying the impact of each person’s contributions will also help encourage them to give again next quarter, and throughout the year.
Instead of simply sending out the numbers, try to make each person’s cover letter as personalized as possible. Tell them how they have directly impacted the mission and how you need their help to keep making a difference in the community.
Send a “Thank You” in Confirmation Letters
Do you hold annual giving campaigns? If so, your church likely gets commitment cards, estimated giving cards, or pledge cards from the people who plan to contribute. Whenever you process these cards, you should send out a confirmation letter to make sure they know that your church understands their commitment. This letter helps to reinforce that you’re looking forward to, and even counting on, their gift. It’s also a great time to say “thank you” in advance.
In this letter, you should let donors know how much you appreciate their contribution and give them a sneak peek into the work your church will be doing with their help.
Send a Hand Written Note
Every once in a while, sending out an old-fashioned “thank you” card may be very well worth it. It takes time to hand address the envelope and stick on a first-class stamp, but it’s a gesture that will really mean a lot to someone who has made a large, special, or first-time gift to your church. In this note, tell them exactly what their gift has enabled your church to do. Personalize the message so they know you recognize and appreciate their efforts, big or small.
The note can be short and sweet, and there’s no need to indicate the amount they gave. Instead, reinforce the gesture of giving, no matter the size of the donation, and let them know how much it counts in their community.
Focus on Your Donors
Here at DonorWERX, we approach everything with our donor-centric framework. This model helps churches like yours everyday form more meaningful connections with their congregation and foster growth through volunteerism, tithing, and generosity. Are you interested in expanding your church and seeing it thrive? Schedule a Discovery call today.
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