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How to Show Donor Appreciation After a Product Fundraiser

If your nonprofit has tried product fundraising, you’ve probably seen this tactic’s ability to raise funds for your cause while also engaging donors. Product fundraising is highly engaging by nature since it offers a tangible product in exchange for donations and creates a direct connection between donors and your organization. But those connections shouldn’t end once the fundraiser wraps up.

When it comes to connecting with supporters, you’ll need to take your fundraising efforts a step further by investing time and resources into donor communications. In this guide, we’ll review three appreciation strategies your nonprofit can implement to do just that after a product fundraiser:

  1. Send a thank-you letter
  2. Give a gratitude gift
  3. Host an appreciation event

The keys to successful donor appreciation strategies are urgency and authenticity. Learn which method (or combination of methods) would mean the most to your supporters and plan your appreciation efforts today!


1. Send a thank you letter

Whether you receive gifts at a birthday, graduation, or wedding celebration, sending a thank-you note is expected—and rightfully so! Simply saying thank you is not only the most straightforward way to show appreciation, but it also has the potential to be the most meaningful and efficient.

Among a variety of product ideas, messaging platforms, and communication preferences, there are numerous ways to share a message of gratitude after your product fundraiser:

  • Written letter: Think of a handwritten note as a direct way to talk to your donors—tell them exactly what you’re thankful for! Specific details will make your letter even more special, so remember to include the product your donor bought, the quantity they purchased, and the impact of their donation.
  • Email: Emails forgo the hassle of mailing times and postage costs, instantaneously delivering personal messages. According to eCardWidget’s guide to thanking donors, donor management software can automate your thank-you emails so they’re immediately sent after someone purchases a product. 
  • eCards: Digital greeting cards combine the personal nature of letters with the efficiency of emails. Choose fun templates and animations to make an eye-catching card. You can also include your nonprofit’s brand elements to remind donors that they didn’t just make a purchase but supported an important cause.

Your thank-you messages are just as important to plan as the type of product you’ll sell in your fundraiser. Whichever delivery method you use, create a template for your communications ahead of time so your messages will just need light editing before sending them to the donor. When you follow up immediately after the fundraiser, donors will feel prioritized and highly valued.


2. Send a survey

Donor input is highly important in understanding how to successfully engage supporters. For example, ABC Fundraising’s guide to school fundraising ideas recommends asking for parent opinions on fundraiser types. Similarly, your nonprofit should ask supporters what appreciation methods would be most meaningful to them. Send a survey that asks the following questions:

  • Why did you purchase a product from our fundraiser?
  • Why is our nonprofit’s work important to you?
  • How do you prefer to give?
  • How do you prefer to be contacted?
  • Do you feel your donation made a difference?

Use the information gathered from this survey to guide your next steps. Not only will you have a better chance of showing your gratitude in a meaningful way, but donors will be glad to know their opinions are valued and appreciated, as well.


3. Give a gratitude gift

As you hear from your donors and learn more about them, you’ll better understand how to thank them in meaningful ways. Analyze your donor data to think of tangible gift ideas for your donors, such as:

  • Goods: From blankets to gift baskets, potential gift items for donors are endless. But product fundraisers already provide donors with tangible items for their participation. To make sure this additional item meaningfully thanks them, choose something with significance to the fundraiser.
  • Experiences: Would your donors enjoy a day at the local spa or dinner at their favorite restaurant? To show your appreciation for their support, provide coupons or gift cards for their favorite activities. Local establishments and corporations may partner with your nonprofit to donate gift certificates to help your nonprofit save on resources for its appreciation efforts.
  • Merchandise: Create t-shirts, hats, water bottles, and other merchandise with your nonprofit’s branding to remind donors what their product purchase supported. As an added bonus, you’ll receive free brand ambassadorship when they wear your merchandise in public!

For more information about your supporters’ preferences, foundational prospect research practices, such as screening for wealth, can help you target your appreciation and outreach over time. This insight can help you focus your gifting efforts efficiently—use your research to thank donors appropriately and send the right gifts to the most impactful donors!

A gift to follow up a donation not only shows that your nonprofit cares after the fundraiser, but can also serve as a long-lasting reminder of your organization’s appreciation. Whether you give a t-shirt that the donor wears for years to come or a picture frame that sits on their shelf, tangible gifts can serve as future reminders of their impactful contributions.

We all know that donors are the lifeblood of nonprofit work, so showing your gratitude appropriately is an important part of cultivating your organization’s community. The right appreciation strategy will retain existing donors, welcome new supporters, and enhance your nonprofit’s reputation in the community.


Need more help? Connect with one of our fundraising experts for one-on-one guidance or book a demo.