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6 ways to show extra appreciation to your donors

Posted December 12, 2019 by Virginia Davidson

Donor appreciation ideas

Looking to show some extra appreciation to your most ardent donors? In this post, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to let your donors know how much your organization appreciates their generosity.

A Day in the Life

Put together a day-in-the-life piece to send to a special group of donors. This could be written from the point of view of a staff member, or you could take the perspective of a beneficiary of your mission—for example, an animal in your shelter, a painting in your museum collection, or a piece of land that’s conserved by your organization.

Creative thank-you cards

Using existing images or artwork created by someone connected to your organization, create a thank-you card and include a personal message of gratitude. Send this as an above-and-beyond thank you; you can enlist the help of board members to add personal notes in cards. Using Canva’s free design software makes this a snap.

A photo book

Consider putting together a photo book of success stories for your extra-special donors. A service like Shutterfly makes this simple to do.

Phone calls of appreciation

Choose a group of donors, such as those who made their first gift in the last year, and place a thank-you phone call to each one. Depending on the number of donors on your list, you can ask board members, colleagues, or volunteers to help you with the calls. The calls themselves don’t need to be complicated or in depth. Simply introduce yourself, thank them for their support, and tell them what it’s helping to accomplish. If you have any upcoming programs or events, you can mention those, too.

Thank-you video

Create a brief thank-you video and send it to your donors. You don’t need a professional videographer to make this happen; you can use a free tool like Animoto to mix any appropriate photos and video clips you may have available into an appealing video.

Plaques or certificates

For your sponsors and business supporters, create a certificate, plaque, or thank-you letter. The idea is to give them something they can display in their workplace if they wish. Extra points if you hand-deliver it! Don’t forget about the businesses that support you with in-kind contributions.

Looking for a few more donor appreciation ideas?

Check out these articles:

Awesome stewardship ideas to wow your donors

5 meaningful ways to show extra love to your donors


Set your organization apart by making your donors feel really good about supporting your work. By showing your appreciation beyond a standard acknowledgment letter, you’ll set your organization up for strong donor retention.

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