5.5 Digital Thank You’s (aka how to blow donors minds)

How to thank someone is a perpetually asked question. We know we should do it, but the “how” is the hard part.

Do you call donors? Or do you use a handwritten note? Or send them a welcome box?

Here are 5.5 Digital “Thank You Ideas’ that will help you WOW donors and have people talking about you for weeks to come! #It’sAllAboutTheFollowUp

  1. Personalized Videos 
  2. Utilize Your Thank-You Pages
    1. Option 1 
    2. Option 2
    3. Option 3
  3. Private Groups
  4. Donor Match…With A Twist
  5. Image Personalization
  6. Secret Segmentation Invitations

Personalized Video

1:1 Videos are amazing! They have huge upsides in both short & longterm views. Donors will talk about these videos for weeks ( I know I have). Some software even has the option of 1:many, but we will not get into that here.

How do you do it? (There are two options)

Option 1 Paid (Recommended): Use an app like Bonjoro. Bonjoro has a free trial as well as the ability to scale to 10+ users easily! It’s a great way to systematize your “thank-yous”. You can have a team member spend 20 minutes a day thanking new donors.

Option 2 Free (takes too much time): Use a video recorder tool such as Loom to send a thank you video to ever new person. They offer free plans, but 0 integrations which make scaling very difficult. Also, donors fall through the cracks when you try to do this at scale.

What do these videos look like?

First of all, they need to be short. 90 seconds or less.

Secondly, they need to be personal. Use a CRM to mention their name and donation history.

Thank You Video Script

Hi <fname>, my name is JJ Reynolds with <super cool company>, I see that you gave your third gift this morning and I wanted to personally say “thank you”. It’s because of you we can continue to help <super important cause>. If you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to respond to this email! Thank you for everything you do <fname> I look forward to seeing you around online and in our inbox!


You made it personal, noted what they did, mentioned your cause, and gave them a channel to reach out for more information.. Who wouldn’t have their jaw wide open and want to donate again after watching that?

Utilize Your Thank You Pages

Thank you pages are often an afterthought and a “thank you” is quickly slapped on there.

This is the first thing someone will encounter after giving to your organization. It should ✨ DAZZLE ✨ Not many people remember the feeling of donating a month later when they receive your handwritten note.

Your Options
Option 1: Have a public-facing person record a video saying “thank you” for everything and what it allows you to do. This could be a CEO, Principle, or even a communications director.

The key point to get across is that they are awesome and what you are now able to do! Ohh and that they are awesome (you can’t mention that enough).

Option 2: Have something special for them to download. This could be a detailed overview of where their dollar goes. Or a unique page on your website to go that tracks dollars and impact. Something that is not available to the public.

Remember that you want them to go WOW immediately. Interactive reports are awesome or even a calculator of how much impact their dollar makes

Option 3: Give them perspective as to how much impact they have made. Use an in-the-field video of your recipients saying thank you and correlating what $1 = to them.

This is also one of the easier routes as most orgs have one of these already!

Private Groups

Putting all of your donors together in one location is a great way to build a community around your project. You know they care (they gave $$$) You know that they want to be there, (they opted-in). What more could you want?

Facebook Vs Slack

Facebook and slack are the two options I see the most. The benefit of Facebook is that it is easy and most people understand how to use it. The downside is that not everyone wants their name and info attached to their donation on Facebook.

Enter Slack.

Slack allows users to set up their own accounts. Heck, they can even use an alias and fake email! You can answer questions and have specific channels built out to assist every part of your relations! If you are a development nonprofit you could have channels dedicated to water, agriculture, women, and business.

The downside is that it is a new channel for you to monitor and it can be a big one. But the more engaged people are the more likely you will get repeat donors.

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Donor Match….. With a twist!

This is a tad bit more complicated but do not worry. There are several steps that you must have and I will break it down into chunks. If you ever have a question feel free to send me an email.

What you will need.

  1. A large donor who believes in your growth and is willing to put their money on the line if you grow!
  2. A good web development team who knows how referral software works
  3. Be able to tell a story and track it.

How it could work.

You can create a referral program for donors to refer friends and family.

Upon donating, you can ask your donor, “would you like to become an ambassador?” (you can change this name to be something more on-brand for you, angel, giver, well, etc).

Then they will have a link they can forward or send to someone else.

Make it clear that every dollar received through this referral link will double.

You can use a system like Get Ambassador to track your ambassadors and allow them to log in and see their results. 

IMPORTANT: Give them the choice to opt-in. If you have people ready and willing to share your message they will be much more likely to spread it quickly.

Now your growth is exponential. You have donors trying to get more donors because if they use their link it will be doubled! If you add this to the previous note of a group, you will create a true retention plan!

It is very important to track this using tools such as Google Analytics, Mixpannel & Referral Softwares as it is easy for your costs to run away.

Image personalization

Yes, you can have a personalized image for every one of your donors. How you ask… Nifty Images is the secret weapon.

They are able to pull names in from a database and overlay it onto just about anything.

I had a friend who used it to automatically email their leads in real estate with a photo of a house with their name on the “for sale” sign. It was pretty awesome.

They have an open API. This means you can use any database and any sending system via email, Facebook Messenger, or what’s app… or… you get the point. There are a lot of options.

Secret Segmentation Invitations

This is a combination of many of the previous tips. That is why we do not this list as a full 6… just a 5.5. This tip is to segment based on what they have done.

Do you have multiple funds? This should be the case. Do you receive multiple donation sizes? Probably.

If either of the above are used, keep reading. We will want to break users into segments.

We will use an internal segmentation for this example

Internal Group Name Monthly Donation Single Donation
Baby Bears Up to $25/month up to $100
Mama Bears Up to $100/month Up to $400
Grandpa Bears Over $100/month Over $400

If someone gives over a certain threshold, they should get a different experience.

All of the baby bears should get their message, all of the mama bears should receive their message and all of the grandpa bears should get their message.

You can have the baby bears receive a thank you video from the President, The Mama Bears hear from the CFO, and the Grandpa Bears have a thank you from the field.

Admittedly, these are not the best examples, but the ideas is to understand that online, everyone can experience something different.

What Person A sees doesn’t have to be the same thing that Person B Sees… and once you understand that your entire world opens up!

We hope you enjoyed these tips! Feel free to check out our latest tips here to get the latest directly in your inbox.

About The Author - JJ Reynolds

JJ Reynolds has worked in the digital marketing world for nearly 8 years. Including digital asset creation, public relations, digital advertising, and web analytics.

Founder - Mediauthentic & NonProfitMarketingEssentials