November’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival | The quintessential guide to giving thanks

November 30, 2011

Welcome to the Nonprofit Blog Carnival round-up for November! This month we asked bloggers to offer up knock-your-socks-off ideas that they’ve used to thank donors.  The entries poured in – and why not?!

As UK fundraiser Mark Philips noted in Five things we learned at the IFC, “Calling a donor to thank them (whether you speak to them or just leave a message on the answer phone) can increase their next year’s gift value by up to 40%.”  And Blackbaud’s recent report Growing Philanthropy in the United States recommended an enhanced “focus on retention and building supporter loyalty” and reported that a “10 percent improvement in attrition can yield up to a 200 percent increase in projected (lifetime) value.”

How are bloggers, consultants and organizations going above and beyond to thank donors?  Read on…

How can older organizations rich in history find new methods of saying thank you?  You’ll delight in this charming exhibit courtesy of SOFII.

Phenomenal copywriter Jules Brown of Dear Joan notes that saying thank you is an art, not a process and offers up three tips for getting it right.

No article on thank you gestures would be complete without a post from The Good Steward himself, Dan Blakemore.  I always credit Dan with my oft-repeated advice to schedule in a minimum of 30 minutes a day to call and connect with donors.  Dan offers up Three Simple & Impactful Ways to Thank (and Steward) Your Donors.

Who are your supporters reallyAgents of Good puts a face to a name and urges you to “care, love and nurture these wonderful people in every way you can – THAT’s fundraising.”  We would agree.

And from another Canadian favorite, Kimberley MacKenzie, comes Anyone can thank a donor.  Just do it!

How does an organization built around intention and gratitude thank their donors?  Epic Change founder Stacy Monk and co-director Sanjay Patel have filmed an incredibly moving gratitude dance.

What are ways organizations can “wow” their donors all year long?  This free, downloadable ebook inspired many.

Connection Cafe offers up Seven ways to say thanks.

Listening is always key, as Daily Giving Adventures reminds us.  Have you ever thought about having “patrons, or staff members (whom the donor knows and has a fondness for) sing a few bars of a thank you song into a special voicemail message?”

Mark Phillips gets inspired by a holiday gift guide and asks what are some personalized ways that you can show your donors that you love them?

Why would you want to say thank you in Chinese?  Blogger Marti Fischer shares her method behind the madness.

Don’t ever forget your volunteers, the very lifeblood of many organizations.  How are you thanking them?  Volunteerspot has ideas for you.

Catholic Charities of Fort Worth uses an array of methods to say thank you, including video.

The always thoughtful Gayle Gifford shares the story of one very special show of gratitude – and why we, as a sector, need to do better in saying thank you.

As you’re reaping the returns from your year-end appeal, don’t forget to redo your thank you letters!  And who better to advise you than Lisa Sargent?  Check out this before and after example.

None other than the Fundraising Coach himself, Marc Pitman reminds us that being thanked never gets old – and what might seem mundane to us, still delights donors!

Wild Woman Fundraiser says that good manners never go out of style and asks us to “create a little more happiness in the world. Isn’t that worth it, in itself?”  Mazarine Treyz should know, she creates happiness wherever she goes.

Should your board chair call to thank a $20 donor?  What if there are special circumstances?  What would you do?

I’ve been a long-time fan of Maureen Carruthers of Low Hanging Fruit.  Now she offers up a thought-provoking post on rethinking donor thank you  gifts.

While this SOFII post is an older one, it still resonates and is bound to give the small shop fundraiser an idea or two on how to say thank you throughout the year.

And, of course, no round up of Giving Thanks posts would be complete without a revisit to Lisa Sargent’s thank you letter clinics hosted at SOFII.  Bookmark it if you haven’t already.

We can always use a formula, and brilliant nonprofit marketer Kivi Leroux Miller shares hers for powerful thank yous.

How can you thank to the MAX?  Exceptional nonprofit coach Lori Jacobwith has one great story!

Nonprofit marketer extraordinaire Katya Andresen says that “most nonprofits are terrible at it. If you’re good, you stand out.  Be the best organization at saying thank-you!

Sofia Michelakis at Philanthropy News Digest shares an interesting story about donor stewardship – from the donor’s perspective – in The donor is not always right.

Don’t forget your foundation funders!  Betsy Baker of Your Grant Authority has some savvy ideas on thanking your foundation funders year-round (just be sure to check with the foundation offices beforehand to ensure that they’re fine with the publicity).

Kirsten Bullock shares the gentle, heartwarming story of her brother, Fritz, someone we could all learn a lesson from.

What an awesome thank you video, via charity auctioneer Sherry Trular.  Check out Charity auctioneer grabs a video camera to express her gratitude.

Fundraising and nonnprofit coach Sandy Rees urges you to take a fresh look at your thank you letter.

Five simple ways to thank your donors courtesy of author and consultant Amy Eisenstein.

Lori Halley of Wild Apricot writes compellingly of thanking – from a donor’s perspective.


Joanne Fritz of is hosting the December Nonprofit Blog Carnival.   Joanne asks “What’s Going to Happen in 2012 for Nonprofits?”  Trends, themes, the economic outlook – what direction do you plan to go in?


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