Celebrating National Philanthropy – A Day for Thanks

November 14, 2017

Philanthropy: noun, “the love of humankind”

National Philanthropy Day is celebrated on November 15th – a day for people around the world to put Philanthropy in action and recognize the change it has made in our communities.

It is also a great day to celebrate your donors, volunteers, and stakeholders. Conveniently situated two weeks before Giving Tuesday, we suggest using Philanthropy Day to recognize and thank your donors, large and small.

Depending on your list size, segment and break down your donors from the past year. This is not necessarily time to re-thank your Major Donors (hopefully they have already received plenty of thanks). Use this opportunity to thank the often overlooked, direct response or smaller gift donors that make up the bottom of your donor pyramid.

This will benefit you in two ways: your donors will be surprised and delighted by your recognition; they will be reminded of your cause in advance of the giving period, and hopefully will be thinking fondly of your organization when they receive their next solicitation.

Three Ways to Say Thank You on National Philanthropy Day

1. E-Card: Send a heartfelt thank you e-card to all recent donors you can contact. Send them a genuine message of thanks for their support and remind them HOW their donation made an impact. Do NOT include a link to your donation form or a request for support in the message. This is a time for thanks.

2. Phone-A-Thon: Choose a few donor segments that tend to get less attention and divvy up the list to your colleagues. Plan ahead and get buy-in from cross-departmental leaders to make it an organization-wide activity. Invite staff who are not necessarily in the fundraising department to encourage a culture of philanthropy across the organization. Provide everyone with a script and coach your callers with answers to frequent questions which may come up from your donors. Be on standby in case any calls need to be escalated. You may find that initially some donors will be annoyed, but once they realize you are not asking for another donation the annoyance quickly shifts to being pleased. Make sure to provide each of your callers with a list including donors ID and a comments box for notes.

3. Tracking: Make sure your all interactions with donors are recorded in your CRM. In the new year, compare your results and see how donors that were personally thanked gave vs those that did not receive thanks. In your January campaign wrap-up email, consider sending a variable message to those that received the e-card in November.

Let’s inspire others this National Philanthropy Day!

About the Author

Cheryl Muschallik is the Head of Projects and Consulting at hjc. Cheryl combines her years of experience in the non-profit sector and her passion for technology to help clients find unique solutions and achieve their fundraising goals.