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Thanking Donors: The Changing Culture Of Donation In India

Why do we do it?

We’ve all been taught the importance of saying a simple “thank you” since we were children. We may have forgotten to thank people a few times, but we do feel elated when others thank us. Appreciating the littlest thing someone does for you using those two words goes a long way, we were told. And we grew up to realize just how true that was.

It’s no different with a fundraiser. Saying thank you helps create and maintain a healthy relationship with each of your donors. It helps them make a deeper connect to your project and this way they’ll remember you. If you encourage your donor to make a connect, they may just help you out again in the future! Saying thank you is a big step towards doing that. It also lets your donor know that their donation was important and that it did make the difference they intended, encouraging them to continue giving, whether that’s to you or someone else. And it brightens up their day!

When a donor makes a donation in India to a crowdfunding campaign, though they do expect to be alerted of progress, they do not often expect campaigners to make an expression of gratitude towards them as they tend to in the West. Take advantage of this; it’s easy to surprise your donors and make them feel special with the simplest of gestures!

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How do we do it?

In the world of giving, volunteering and donation in India, how do you thank a kind donor who did their significant bit to make your fundraiser successful? Here are some of the best ways to let your donor know you’re thankful.

One obvious way is to make it public – do a grand social media shout-out showing your gratitude with a virtual thank you note. Maybe dream a bit bigger and create a whole thank you video! Or go old school and actually send a personalized, handwritten thank you note. Sending thank-you emails is definitely a must. It’s also important to periodically send email updates to your donors as your fundraiser progresses. Donors like to know how the money they contributed  is helping.

If you’re crowdfunding to create a product or an innovation, send your top donors quirky T-shirts with your logo and they’ll never forget you. Or if you’re feeling particularly generous, consider gifting your larger donors a prototype of your product! If you’ll be holding an inaugural ceremony after your fundraiser closes, sending invites to donors is also a great way of thanking them and letting them know you want them to be a part of your journey.

Recognizing previous large donors by marking anniversaries is a novel idea to let your older donors know you haven’t forgotten them. Send a personalized mail that thanks them, marking a year since they made their donation! Another way to honor major donors is by creating a personalized plaque for them. Don’t forget to send them a picture – or post it on social media!

Campaigners from NGOs who are crowdfunding for a new project should consider offering donors the opportunity to volunteer with their organization! If they donated to your cause, it means they related to it and care about it and are likely to be willing to volunteer. If your project/organization/brand has a website, consider including a tab for your largest donors. Use your creative juices to make a unique little photo-book or scrapbook that showcases the development of your project from inception to completion and gift copies of this to your donors!

There are endless ways to say “thanks” and it doesn’t have to be with words. It can be almost effortless to make someone feel special, and often it’s worth it to take the trouble to do something big to show your gratitude as well. The important thing is, even if it’s just social media shout-outs, never let a donor think you’ve forgotten them. Do something, no matter how small, to let them know you acknowledge their kindness!

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