Acknowledge gifts and thank givers.
Everyone wants to feel that their gifts are appreciated. It’s hard to feel appreciated when you are ignored. When someone gives your church or non-profit a gift, let them know you received it and are thankful. You don’t have to name a parking spot after them or make an announcement on Sunday morinigs. A simple note or letter saying “thank you for investing in our mission. We are grateful,” will do. A hand written note is preferred, but not a deal breaker.
How acknowledging and thanking givers can increase giving:
First, it increases their trust in the organization. This shows you have a system and a culture in place of professionalism. It shows that you care. Rarely will anyone give to an organization they don’t trust. When trust is broken in a church, giving is immediately impacted. Anything you can do to increase trust, will help increase giving. Systems have a powerful way of increasing trust. Increase trust, increase giving.
Second, you make your givers feel more connected and included in the mission. People want to know they are on the team, that their giving matters. Let givers know they are helping move the mission forward and they are more likely to give again. This is especially important for younger givers. Millennials and younger have high expectations for being included in the organizations they support. Being thanked is the first step in being connected.
Third, it increases the likelihood they will give again in the future. Here’s a great leadership and life principle: “what’s rewarded is repeated.” When we acknowledge and thank givers, we are in a way rewarding them. Why is this important? When we are rewarded, the brain gets a nice dopamine hit, which tells the brain, this is something we want to do again. Dopamine increases our likelihood of repeating a behavior and the pleasure we have in doing it. This can create a positive flywheel of momentum for people’s joy in giving. It also helps further fund the mission. Win-win.
There’s a bonus win for leaders and pastors:
Writing thank you notes is a simple and powerful reminder that we can’t accomplish our mission alone. We need the help and generosity of others. When ever we feel we can do it all on our own, we’ve missed our way. Thanking others for their help is a great way to bring us back.
How do you thank givers at your church or non-profit?