Sometimes the most difficult part of the fundraising process is saying thank you. How do you do it? A song? A crocheted scarf? Maybe you’re not too fond of your singing-voice, but your crochet-skills are on-point. Maybe you like paint and want to create portraits of all your donors. Or maybe you simply want to say thanks in person over a nice dinner. There are numerous ways to thank donors, and the style is up to you!

No matter what you think would work best, be sure to say thank you somehow. Sure, a donation is a no-strings-attached way to receive funding, but nothing is more satisfying to a donor than a personal thank-you. Donors will feel they have made a wonderful impact on your life, and they may be more enthusiastic to donate in the future after a proper thank-you! This article will outline some points to consider when preparing to thank your donors.

Consider the process:

Studying abroad is quite the long journey, and earning money is among the first steps of many. Waiting to thank your donors until your adventures are over might mean waiting months or even a year! Why not use collected materials on your journey as a way of saying “thank you” along the way? These materials can be photos, short video clips, postcards, and blog posts. Share your experiences with donors in the moment!

Donors also enjoy feeling exclusive, so addressing funders in particular would provide a personal touch to your updates.

Demonstrate new skills:

Are you learning Spanish abroad? Show off your skills by saying thank-you in Spanish or any other language you may be studying. Singing opera in Italy? Create a video message singing thank you using your incredible vocal technique. Using skills directly related to your experiences abroad is an excellent way of creating a personalized thank-you! Again, the best thank-you is a personal thank-you.

Items vs. Ideas:

People like tangible “things.” Things they can hold, touch, and put on their dressers to remind themselves every day of just how great they are for donating while they dress for work. On the flip-side, people also enjoy ideas, like songs, compliments, and hearing their name shouted from the top of the Eiffel Tower by their best friend. Each person wants something different, so if you want to thank everyone differently, be sure to know your donors’ tastes.

Serious and silly:

A thank-you does not have to be formal and structured. It can be as silly as gifting one of those photos that makes it like you’re hanging off a cliff when really there’s a ledge right beneath your feet. Creating a nice mixture of serious and silly makes it fun for both you and the donor, but be sure to include a bit of seriousness so donors know the thank-you is sincere.

Use these helpful hints as a guide when preparing your thank-you’s. Be as imaginative as possible, but remain personal. You understand just how important their donations are. Help them understand the same by creating the best thank-you they have ever received!

About the Author:

Vivacious Vocalist. Masterful Man. Fantastical Fanatic. So-so sushi-maker…Tyler can do it all if you don’t mind waiting for him to watch a few instructional Youtube videos. Tyler is a 2014 Vocal Performance graduate looking to make a difference in this world by simply sharing it with others. In his free time, Tyler records and publishes his own music! He also enjoys long walks on the beach, but not too long because he has flat feet.