One thing fundraisers can learn from a train guard is the “culture of an instant thank you.” A train guard probably says “thank you” thousands of times a day.
You might have noticed that when a train guard is checking tickets on board they thank every single passenger personally and instantly. They don’t wait for your journey to be finished and then say ‘thank you for travelling with us”. They also do that through their PA system at the end of each journey.
One of the reasons they check our tickets on board is to have an opportunity to say “thank you” to us and ask if anyone requires any further assistance. They are utilising the ticket checking service as an opportunity to say “thank you” to their customers and to be ‘reachable’ to their customers.
So here are four reasons why we as fundraisers should start thanking our donors instantly:
1. ‘Thank you’ is the best marketing which is not marketing
An instant “thank you” can be viral: happy donors share their experience with family, friends and colleagues and it goes around. In these times of digital revolution, it only takes one person to say a good or bad thing about your organisation and you have had it.
Good that is experienced by happy donors simply means more exposure for your organisation and more donations in future.
2. It makes donors feel great and valued
The law of reciprocity says “If you make me feel good about myself, I will find a way to make you feel good about yourself.” The science of happiness tells us that thank you makes the receiving party feel great.
According to a study published in Emotion, thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. Which shows that a little acknowledgment goes a long way and it can lead to new opportunities. Research findings by Professor Francis Flynn, suggest that when helpers are thanked for their efforts, the resulting sense of being socially valued is critical in encouraging them to provide more help in the future.
3. It’s a cost-effective way of raising 39% more funds
A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected. Showing instant gratitude to your donors is the most cost-effective way of raising more money.
Penelope Burk in a famous book ‘Donor Centred Fundraising’ states: “A thank you call from a Board Member to a newly acquired donor within 24 hours will increase their next gift by 39%.” That act of showing appreciation through something as simple as saying “thank you” ignites others to go the extra mile for us.
4. An instant ‘thank you’ is a savvy retention tool
One study concluded that five out of ten donors stop giving or give less because they feel in part that their giving is not appreciated. Genuine instant gratitude helps to let our donors know that we value them; it inspires them to continue doing even more.
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