Skip to content
We are now Bonterra

How to level up your supporter appreciation efforts

April 13, 2022
This image shows two young professional women holding a table and smiling while discussing supporter appreciation.

Giving thanks to your supporters is a crucial best practice for nonprofit organizations, as the best supporter appreciation messages can spur future involvement with your purpose. To get the most out of these messages, it’s helpful to plan them in advance and think outside of the box. This guide will go over six unique and effective ways to show your supporters love and secure their engagement with your nonprofit’s purpose.

1. Address thank-you messages from beneficiaries.

When someone donates to or volunteers with your nonprofit, what they’re really doing is working alongside you to serve your beneficiaries. What better way to thank a supporter than to send them a personalized message from those whom they’ve impacted most?

For instance, your nonprofit could send handwritten thank-you notes or video messages from beneficiaries whom you ran a campaign for. Whichever format you choose, featuring your beneficiaries helps forge an emotional connection with supporters, who can now place a face to the cause they’re passionate about.

2. Create a memorable giving experience.

When supporters have the opportunity to participate in a unique giving experience, they’ll remember your nonprofit and will be more likely to give again in the future. For instance, if your donor is giving in honor of a loved one, allow them to light a candle virtually and add them to a memorial plaque. Alternatively, you could allow your supporters to be recognized by getting their pictures hung in your nonprofit’s office. These mementos ensure that your supporters are cemented in your nonprofit’s history and feel like they’re making a positive impact on the world.

3. Send gifts to top supporters.

Your supporters don’t expect anything in return for their generosity, so they might be pleasantly surprised when you send them a token of your appreciation. Here are some great options for supporter appreciation gifts:

  • Your nonprofit’s branded merchandise
  • An item related to your purpose (like a piece of jewelry made by a beneficiary)
  • A gift basket with snacks, gift cards, and other useful items

By sending these gifts, your nonprofit can brighten your supporters’ days and show them that their support isn’t going unnoticed. This positive experience will strengthen your relationship with supporters and keep them involved with your nonprofit.

4. Credit your supporters for your success.

Make supporters feel great about their contributions by attributing your accomplishments to them. For example, if your campaign enabled you to fund a whole new line of services, tell your supporters that they made it possible! Giving supporters the credit for your successes confirms to them that they play an irreplaceable role in supporting your purpose.

5. Publicly praise your supporters.

Spreading the word about your generous supporters will make them feel appreciated. Give them a random shout-out on the internet via your email newsletter, social media, or your website. Or, you could invite a supporter on stage during an event to acknowledge their role in your campaign.

You can even show gratitude to anonymous supporters at events by saying something like, “an anonymous donor just gave $200 to our Holiday Campaign. Thank you so much for helping a family in our community!” Just be sure to respect your supporters’ wishes regarding public recognition and confidential information, as some individuals may be more private and wish to stay out of the limelight.

6. Host a supporter appreciation event.

Hosting a special event to honor your supporters is an excellent way to express your gratitude. This could be as simple as offering a guided tour through your facility or a meet-and-greet with your members and beneficiaries. Take it a step further by planning a gala-style night of recognition for volunteers, board members, and donors to acknowledge their contributions to your purpose. 

The impact of supporter appreciation efforts

Showing your supporters genuine gratitude is what humanizes your nonprofit and lays the groundwork for connection. Whichever method you use to thank your supporters, make sure that it’s as personal as possible. Even if you don’t know the supporter well, include their name in your message and reference the specific campaign they gave to. Then, follow up with them after the campaign has concluded to report on their gift’s impact. These communications are the foundation of a strong relationship that will drive impact for years to come. 

Ready to Get Started?

    Donor Engagement
  • Nonprofits
  • Digital communications & marketing