Your donors have been giving to your organization all year, so it only makes sense for you to give back during the holidays. But how? 

While organizations can receive income from different sources, individual donations make up the biggest portion of their income. In fact, of the more than $427 billion in donations in 2018, close to 70 percent of that came from individual donors. 

With this in mind, you can show your appreciation by creating a personalized Christmas card message that resonates with each donor. Here are some ideas to give thanks to those who keep giving… 

Decide On The Tone

When you’re creating a personalized Christmas message, you want to consider the voice of your organization, as well as who the donor is. 

If your organization has a light and humorous tone in its usual marketing to its supporters, then you can stay consistent with that in your Christmas message. For example, you could try something like this Maya Angelou quote:

“You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

And then follow that up with an addition: “As well as who gives from the heart. Merry Christmas!”

If you know the donor has a keen sense of humor, then give that to them! Here’s another one you could try: “What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations? Tinselitis.”

Of course, try to avoid anything that’s crass, rude, romantic, or political – or you could risk offending them. 

On the other hand, if your supporter is more of a serious type, then you might want to hold off on getting too funny or sentimental. A simple “Thank you, Merry Christmas!” might be fine. A straightforward card that reads “Happy Holidays” may suffice, but it won’t do much to inspire them. 

Make It Personal and Specific 

While you can decide on a generic message to send out to all of your donors, it pays to take some time to write a personal note to each one. That could include their name, something about an interaction that you had, or how the amount of their donation has helped your organization. 

Tell your donors specifically how their donations have been able to impact your organization. For example, “Your kind contribution allowed us to add more resources to help those in need” or “we were able to add new equipment that makes life easier for those we serve.”

Tell your donors exactly how their money was used in the message. This will help you build further trust, and your supporters will appreciate knowing their dollars are going to good use.  

Consider The Presentation

Once you’ve arrived at Christmas card message that you think would be perfect for an individual donor, consider how you want to present it. It’s not just the words that send a message – the way a card is put together and even the graphics can send a message that’s positive or negative.

One of the things to consider is whether you will have the message printed or if you will write it by hand. This may seem like a small consideration, but handwritten notes are rarerand can mean more to the donor. Consider how you’d react when getting a Christmas card – do you resonate more with one that has a pre-printed message or one with an insert that’s written by a human?

Also consider those donors who prefer an email over snail mail. While still considering these points, save some money and send an e-card instead:

Printed Christmas Card Message or E-Mail?

There’s the option of sending a Christmas card message electronically to your donors to forego the price of printing and mailing. That might make some supporters think you’re being eco-friendly.

However, sending an e-card can have some pitfalls. For example, the donor might think you haven’t put a lot of effort into it – that’s assuming it didn’t end up in their junk folder. 

Whatever you do, don’t include the email addresses of all of your other donors when you’re sending out your personalized Christmas message!

Send them out individually with a personal note on each, just like you would for a printed Christmas card. 

Create a Memorable Seasonal Greeting

You rely on the support of your donors to keep your nonprofit organization afloat and thriving. So when it comes to the most giving time of year, make sure you show your appreciation and don’t be afraid to get creative. Set aside some time to put some thought into this and do it right. Your supporters will appreciate the extra effort!