Lately, I have been thinking about something that constantly plagues the nonprofit community:

Why are most donors one-time givers?

You would think that if you earned the investment the first time, it should get easier to get a second gift, right?

I think the reason comes down to one thing.


Many times Nonprofits will receive a donation and not thank the giver. Or the Thank You is just basic thank you copy written by an autoresponder.

Transactional emails are fine, but they are basic. Why not go bigger?

Nonprofits have to get creative and think outside of the “best-practices” box.

Gratitude isn’t just an email, a thank you card, or a phone call.

Gratitude can be shown in many different ways.

Gratitude should equal connection. It should represent the partnership.

Now, I get it, we tend to treat one-time givers different than two-time or more givers.

IMO this is dangerous.

When we treat a single gift donor different from a multiple gift donor, then we are setting ourselves up to fail.

The reason most people don’t give again isn’t because you didn’t say “Thank you.” It isn’t because they don’t get your mission.

It’s because they don’t want to commit to a group who doesn’t make them feel part of solving a problem that is bigger than them.

Why are some of our best donors also volunteers? Because they are in the face of the need. They trust you. They see the impact of what their gift does.

How can you show gratitude to your donors? How can you get outside of the Thank you box?

I’ve got a few ideas for how you can do this. Let’s hop on a call this week and go through a few different ways you can thank donors.