Nonprofits are using technology to find donors and to get money from them, but how many are using technology to thank donors?
Chris Bernard and Andrea Berry, senior editor and director of partnerships and learning, respectively, at the nonprofit technology organization Idealware in Portland, Maine, suggest that the traditional forms of thanks translate well to online or technology-enhanced techniques and save staff time on fundraising.
Bernard and Berry offer 11 ideas for using technology to express thanks.
- Personalized emails. A little creativity can increase the impact of automatic emails.
- e-Newsletters. It is easy to turn newsletters into e-newsletters to donors or to create a periodic e-newsletter exclusively for donors.
- Online profiles. Organizations can profile donors on an ongoing basis.
- Online gifts. Donors can be offered access to a mission-related webinar or an online Q&A with a celebrity, for example.
- Social media shout-outs. Going online can combine the best of public praise and a personal contact.
- Highlight early donors. Approaching major donors early in a campaign for seed money can work well for corporate donors.
- Website leader board. These friendly competitions can be good for friend-to-friend campaigns.
- Real-time giving updates. These can be helpful for live events in which people are encouraged to give.
- Videos and photos. Video can capture and convey emotion often lost in an email.
- Interactive thank-you pages. Enhancing a thank-you Web page can provide a more exciting option.
- QR codes. These black-and-white graphics that look like bar codes can link people to a Website when they scan with their smartphone cameras.