While a necessary step in the donor stewardship process, thanking your donors doesn’t have to be a chore. A little creativity and sincerity can go a long way towards long-term donor cultivation. Which is, after all, the desired goal: without your donors and volunteers, your programs and projects would not be possible.

Nonprofits like charity: water are blazing the trail towards a new online-only donation structure. In its five years of operation, charity: water hasn’t sent out a single piece of direct mail, instead directing donors towards flashy landing pages and custom videos, afterwards following up with a emailed tax receipt. While this digital version of donor stewardship is most certainly a vision of the future, a handcrafted postcard, a memorable photograph, or a hand-signed signature from an executive director provide tangible alternatives that are becoming all the more precious in our technology-fueled world. They are also ways to help donors remember to support your cause in the future.

If you are unsure how you rank in donor stewardship, try answering these best practice questions, or take this great quiz by Network for Good entitled “How Well Are You Thanking Your Donors?” Also, if you need ideas for thanking donors, check out the articles below.

Postcard photo courtesy 7meteor

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