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Dos and Don'ts of Asking and Thanking

With Giving Tuesday and the holiday season around the corner, it’s important that you brush up on your “please and thank you’s”, or in non-profit terms asking and thanking. These two simple steps are so critical to securing donors, especially recurring donors.

Once you have gotten someone to believe in your message, it is easier to get them to donate again. In fact, 12% of a non-profits donor’s account for 88% of the dollars raised. Therefore, ensuring that donors are thanked for their contribution is a sure way to keep them coming back. Un-thanked donors will feel unappreciated and will not come back to donate a second time around. It’s the same set of manners your parents tried to instill in you, so make them proud and get those donors!

1. Asking


· Address the potential donor by their name.

· Be personal and personalize your message.

· Have a conversation.

· Be compelling. Get the future donor to believe in your cause.

· Convey how passionate you are about your mission.

· Share the goals you have for your non-profit and how you plan to achieve them. Laying out your plan is important so the donor can know that the money they will give you will be used for worthwhile efforts and not just be handed over to you.

· Be courteous, be polite, and have a great attitude.


· Mispronounce their name.

· Just end the conversation as soon as you get their money. Make them feel like they are heard.

· Be uptight and act like a salesman. While yes, you are making a sales pitch, your goal is not to pressure them.

2. Thanking:


· Say thank you, but be genuine. Thanking is so IMPORTANT! Your donors took time to listen to your message and believed in it so much as to contribute to it.

· Address them by their name.

· Make sure the donor feels appreciated for their contribution.

· Share the impact of their gift. Ex: Jim, your $100 contribution will feed X children.

· Include a contact or point of reference if they have further questions or want to get more involved.

· Still be personal. Sending a handwritten note is a nice and memorable touch.


· Immediately ask for another contribution.

· Thank them weeks later. Thank the donor within 48 hours of the contribution. This book will prove that.

· Think that the tax receipt letter suffices as a proper thank you.



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