Is there anything more delightful than a new donor? The knowledge that your work has touched someone and inspired them to offer financial support is incredibly affirming. It is also a perfect opportunity for deeper engagement.

Of course, the first step is to thank your new donor. It could be a handwritten note, a formal letter or an immediate phone call. Whatever your method, begin with gratitude.

Creating a donor welcome kit beyond the thank you letter can take many forms – from a series of automated emails to a custom package in the mail. Keep it simple and consider including any of the following…

1 | The Donation’s Impact

Return the affirmation and let your donor know how her donation will further your mission. This could be a graphic with quantifiable statistics or a more vision-oriented statement that details the benefit that her donation will have on your work.

2 | Your Work’s Impact

Do you have a particularly striking success story? Create a case study that shows how your work contributed to that success. This could be a written narrative, a graphic depiction, a series of photos or a video recording.

3 | Meet the Team

Offer a look behind the scenes with an introduction to the members of your team, their role and direct contact information.

4 | Personal Welcome

Similarly, put a face to your communication with a link to view a video welcome message from you or your team.

5 | Frequently Asked Questions

New donors who are not as familiar with your work may appreciate a little background, particularly if they’ve donated at the suggestion of a friend. Start off on the right foot with a link to a FAQ page that has basic information about what you do, what you’ve accomplished, your aspirations and how they can get involved further.

6 | Newsletter Opt-In

Assuming a newsletter is a component of your communication strategy, include an opt-in option for your new donor to sign-up and be kept in the loop. You might also include a short sentence on how often they will receive the newsletter along with a link to past newsletters to give them an idea of what to expect.

7 | Social Channels

Active on various social media channels? Include a request to follow you, along with direct links to do so.

8 | Press Links

Has your work been featured in the press? By all means, inspire your new donor with links to articles, mentions and reviews.

9 | Constituency Testimonials

If appropriate, consider including quotes or testimonials from your supporter base that speak to the impact or success of your work.

10 | Event Invitations

Do you have special events coming up soon? Start off by extending an invitation to your new donor for immediate gratification and engagement.

11 | Personal Engagement

Depending on how your work is structured, you might like to engage your donor personally with an invitation to visit you. (Artists with studios, you have an advantage here and can invite your new donor for a studio visit!) Regardless of the work that you do, you might simply ask to schedule a phone call so that you can discuss your work in-depth and answer any questions that your new donor may have.

12 | Call for Feedback

I love to welcome feedback or ideas at all stages of donor engagement. This can be as simple as a short request for feedback and your direct contact information at the close of your thank you letter.

13 | Beyond the Donation

How else could a new donor interact with your work? Are there volunteer opportunities or ways to spread the word of your work? If so, you may also want to list other ways your new donor can get involved beyond financial support. Put together a guide with information, ideas, resources and links, and package it up as a downloadable PDF toolkit.

14 | Promotion Material

This one is a little tricky as it can easily become excessive and wasteful. (Remember the days of getting hundreds of return address labels with your information printed on them? And that was before even making a donation.) With printed pieces, postcards and promotional material, generally exhibit restraint unless it is well produced and speaks directly to your mission.

15 | Discounts

If sales are a part of your revenue model, you might include a new donor discount on something you sell.

Most important: make it timely and be sure that whatever you choose to include fulfills its singular purpose to make the donor feel welcome, appreciated and inspired.

If this has been helpful to you, please consider making a donation! Your contribution is deeply appreciated and supports all of the free programming at Open Rivers.

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