Ten Creative Ways to Say "Thank You"
to Your Supporters & Volunteers
If there was ever a year for gratitude, 2020 is it. This year has taught us all to be thankful for the simple, little things, the daily happinesses, and the support of loved ones.
Post Date: Oct 15 2020
This year has taught us all to be thankful for the simple, little things, the daily happinesses, and the support of loved ones. While we navigate (sometimes daily) the trials and tribulations of a COVID-impacted world, we are also holding the people and things we love dear.
And who deserves more gratitude than your supporters and volunteers? This year, we’ve seen people continue to step up to the plate, even when their finances and daily routines have been altered. And while we’ve all been flexible and understanding to change, it’s all the more heart-warming when people in our communities keep taking the time to do good (and give generously) for others.
If there was ever a year for gratitude, 2020 is it....who deserves more gratitude than your supporters and volunteers!
While any time of the year is a good time to show thanks, we know it goes a little extra further around the holidays. If you’re looking for ways to show your gratitude for your team, your volunteers, your community, or your supporters and donors, we have some creative ideas to stand out and show your appreciation.
These ideas are simple, creative, and don’t cost much. A little recognition goes a long way! And if you’re trying to conserve funds for an uncertain winter and spring ahead, you’ll find these tips extra helpful for saying "thank you" without pulling from your hard-earned reserves.
1. Post a Hall of Fame
Whether it’s a plaque, a cork board, framed photos, a web page, or your organization’s Facebook page, calling out your top supporters by name is a wonderful way to show your appreciation. Consider including the length of time they’ve been supporting your cause, a personal quote, or a special message of thanks. You can also feature a Volunteer of the Month or a Donor of the Month. It’s an easy and engaging way to place your top supporter in front of the community you support.
2. Create VIP Privileges
Nothing says “we appreciate you” like VIP benefits. Designate a VIP parking space for volunteers at your location or event, or assign VIP front-row seating for gatherings. If you’re holding virtual events, give your volunteers a chance to take the online stage with comments or stories to share. VIP privileges are an excellent, no-cost or low-cost way to thank those who have earned a special place in your organization.
3. Make a Tribute
Using either photos or videos, gather clips from your favorite moments throughout the year and piece them together in a tribute to your community.
- You can create an online photo album using platforms like Shutterfly where members can access your photo collection with a special link.
- Or, you can use a tool like Tribute, which makes it easy to collect video clips from your volunteers and supporters, and then arrange them into an emailable film montage.
4. Create Special Awards
Channel your inner crafter with awards that speak to the good your volunteers and supporters are doing in the community. Come up with contest categories for earning awards, such as ‘Snack Master’ for the person who sells the most snack mixes, or ‘Amazing Raiser’ for the person who raises the most money during your fundraiser. Then create one-of-a-kind awards by hand, using items from the craft store or dollar store. Your efforts will go a long way when your volunteers or donors receive awards that are tailored to their special gifts or talents.
5. Send Handwritten Thank You Notes
A personal thank you note always makes our list. Offering individual recognition goes a long way in retaining the support of your top volunteers and supporters. Choose a card that represents your group, programs, or community, and consider supporting a local artisan by opting for handmade or hand-designed cards. We all love getting special notes in the mail during the holidays!
And for your volunteers, consider including a gift card to a coffee shop or a place in your community that you can support locally.
6. Film a Thank You Video
Have someone on your team who’s handy with videos? You don’t have to get fancy—even a short video from a mobile phone can help to get your message across. With easy online tools like Vimeo and ClipChamp, editing film clips is also a doable task for even the less technically-inclined. You can add text layovers with testimonials, volunteer and supporter names, or your special thank you message.
7. Remember Their Giving Anniversary
Keep a calendar of your supporters giving anniversaries, and follow up each year with a big "thank you," and share how your organization has grown in the last 12 months (with their generous help!).
8. Send Impact Reports
Let your community know how their time and money is making a difference. List the programs you’ve been able to support, or the projects you’ve been able to complete because of their generous giving. Consider including your volunteers and supporters when emailing or mailing Impact Reports, or create infographics with visually-appealing statistics. For instance, if your fundraiser is purchasing school supplies, you can create a graph showing the materials purchased and the number of students you’ve helped. You can send these in email newsletters, or share on social media groups and pages.
9. Give Media Recognition
A little public recognition goes a long way. It’s generally affordable to run a one-time ad in the local newspaper thanking volunteers, corporate sponsors and top supporters. You can also create a page on your website dedicated to saying thanks, or include a section in your newsletter. On social media, you can publish a post with all the names to say one big thank you, or schedule a handful of posts highlighting individuals who have made a big difference.
10. Share a Survey
Show your premiere-level supporters and essential volunteers that you value their opinions by including them in an exclusive survey. You can ask about their favorite events of the year, what kinds of celebrations they enjoy, or things they’d like to change. The added benefit is that you also gain insights into the ways you can thank and retain your distinguished supporters and remarkable volunteers. Let them tell you what they appreciate, so you can go recruit more just like them!
A little recognition goes a long way!
And We Want To Say Thank You, Too!
We know this year has offered challenges for the fundraising community. Reaching your fundraising goals this fall has required creativity, optimism, and drive. At Terri Lynn, we have the fundraising programs, products and people ready to help your organization raise funds safely and effectively.
Learn more about our fast, easy fundraising programs; and get started today with a free, contactless Webstore to raise money without handling any product!
Our Dedicated Fundraising Experts are standing by to answer your questions.
If you haven’t yet seen, you may want to read our communication tips for fundraising during challenging times.
Your efforts to continue to raise money for your cause during this difficult time is inspiring to us, too! We appreciate and value your partnership today, and look forward to continuing to help you raise funds for your organization for many years to come.