As a nonprofit professional, you know the importance of showing gratitude for your donors and that a timely thank you is the key to retaining them. In fact, your donors are four times more likely to give to your organization again if you thank them within 48 hours of receiving their gift. Here’s the catch 22: you want to contact your donors quickly, but also as personal as possible so they truly feel appreciated. The solution? Personalized video emails.

Personalized video emails give you the instant delivery of emails with the personal touch of direct mail. No matter where they are, your nonprofit team can share more authentic, heartfelt expressions of gratitude that cultivate donor relationships for the long haul. Not to mention, the addition of videos to your email can help you achieve email open rates as high as 70%!

Let’s talk about how to craft a donor thank you video strategy that keeps donors engaged with your mission.

  1. Prioritize Your Send List
  2. Task Your Team
  3. Craft Your Personal Message
  4. Share Your Donor’s Impact
  5. Invite Donors to Get More Involved
  6. Press Record and Hit Send
  7. Check Your Stats
  8. Repeat

Step #1. Prioritize Your Donor Thank-You Video Send List

Every nonprofit has donors they especially don’t want to lose, and your personalized video email has the potential to keep them engaged. Perhaps you don’t want a major donor slipping through the cracks or you simply want to begin thanking all your donors with video, starting with those who’ve donated in the last 48 hours. Determine the most ideal thank-you video recipient for your organization, then use the fundraising reports in your nonprofit CRM to pull your send list.

Step #2. Task Your Team

Using your list of video message recipients, discuss an action plan with your team. Assign specific team members to create and send thank-you videos to particular donor types on your list. For example:

  • Staff members who are the dedicated solicitors for specific donors are tasked with sending thank-you videos to their assigned donors
  • Board members or executives are tasked with thanking donors who’ve given one-time donations of over $1,000
  • Volunteers are tasked with thanking donors who’ve given more than one gift in the same year

Step #3. Craft Your Personal Message

The most engaging video thank yous are those that speak to the unique relationship your donors have with your organization. While it’s almost impossible to know each of your donors on a personal level, you can quickly and easily brush up on a donor’s history using the details you store in their donor records right before you record your video.

In your video, tell donors:

  • What their commitment to your mission means to you
  • Something that connects to a conversation you’ve had with them
  • Welcome to your donor community (for new donors)

Step #4. Share The Impact of Your Donor’s Generosity

When a donor can see a tangible difference their gift made in someone’s life, they’re more likely to give again. While there isn’t always progress to show when thanking donors within 48 hours of their gift, you can always plan for a followup video to report on how their gift was used and the change it created. In many instances, this quick update can inspire yet another gift.

Step #5. Invite Your Donors to Get More Involved

Multichannel donors are your most loyal, giving 4 times as often as your online or offline-only donors. They engage with your mission beyond giving by attending your fundraising events, sharing your social media posts, volunteering, and encouraging their family and friends to support you, too.

Determine how your donor currently interacts with your organization by doing a quick check of their donor record. Then, tell them about one new way they can stay connected (i.e, joining your newsletter mailing list, following you on Twitter, etc.). Along with the video you send, share a link to this content as a call to action. In addition to strengthening your relationship with existing donors, your thank you is an excellent opportunity to keep new donors engaged.

Step #6. Press Record and Hit Send

However you want to thank your donors is completely up to you!

Ideas for your videos:

  • Feature a beneficiary of your donor’s gift (i.e, a rescue pet, a student, a community garden, etc.)
  • Film in an area of your facility that you’d like to show your donor
  • Include additional staff members in your video to say a quick “thanks”

Depending on the time of year, you may want to be festive. See if there’s a holiday or upcoming anniversary your donor is celebrating and set up your aesthetic accordingly. Your clothing, your props, your background - all can play a part in how you engage your donor. Keep in mind that you’ll more likely hold your donor’s interest if you keep the length of your video under two minutes.

Watch this example of what’s possible in just five minutes when you create a donor thank-you video using DP Video:

Step #7. Check Your Stats

Nonprofit CRM systems like DonorPerfect typically offer a coding system to track the types of thank yous you send. Use an exclusive code or campaign for your thank-you videos so you can periodically review your video engagement strategy and pivot accordingly.

Step #8. Repeat

Using your metrics, see where you can save time by trimming your video engagement list to only those who’ve engaged with this form of communication. For those who’ve opened your video, set a reminder to send them a video update regarding the impact of their gift three months after the date of their gift.

However you tell your donors you appreciate them, you’re sure to make them feel extra special by incorporating video into your strategy. The gratitude you’re able to express more personally will certainly be more memorable and deepen their commitment for your cause.

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by Laura Bucher

Dec 28 20
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