What’s in My Inbox | Thanking Your Monthly Donors

November 8, 2023

How do you thank your nonprofit’s monthly donors?

Monthly donors are a special breed of supporter. They’ve chosen to make a real commitment to your mission in the form of a recurring gift. How can you make them feel how special they are to you?

Should you send a monthly thank you?

You can, certainly. But if you do, make sure that you change it up periodically so your supporters aren’t getting the same thank you every month.

Here’s an example of monthly donor stewardship from Wikipedia that I liked.

Roughly a year ago, I became a monthly donor to Wikipedia, following an email I described as “the perfect email ask” followed by a well-crafted monthly giving appeal.

Some pretty stellar donor stewardship immediately followed prior to this email landing in my inbox.

What I liked about this email:

  1. The email recognized my role as a monthly supporter, emphasizing the significance of my contribution to their cause.
  2. In the email, the Wikimedia Foundation employs principles discussed by renowned psychologist Robert Cialdini in his book “Pre-Suasion.” Cialdini highlights the concept of Unity, emphasizing the power of shared identity and a sense of belonging. By acknowledging my role as a monthly donor, the email made me feel like an integral part of a larger community – a group of like-minded individuals dedicated to preserving the essence of free knowledge.
  3. Cialdini’s exploration of how “be one of the few” conveys exclusivity and resonates profoundly with the email’s tone. By recognizing me as a monthly supporter, the email conveyed a sense of exclusivity, highlighting that I was among the select few who sustained Wikipedia’s operations on a regular basis.

Exclusivity is a terrific tool for making your donors feel valued and appreciated. In my case, it reinforced my decision to support their mission monthly.

The email not only expressed gratitude but also emphasized the impact of my monthly donation. It detailed the specific initiatives my contribution would support, ranging from content creation and updates to technological advancements that enhance user experience. This transparent communication instilled a sense of trust and confidence in the organization, reinforcing my belief in the value of my donation.

In “Pre-Suasion,” Cialdini delves into the psychology of influence, exploring how conveying exclusivity or some form of specialty can be incredibly effective. The email’s personalized approach, recognizing me as a monthly donor, encapsulated this principle perfectly. It made me realize that my support was not just a drop in the ocean but a meaningful contribution to a cause I care about. Click the image below to download this What’s in My Inbox example.

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