How Public Acknowledgement Can Attract (And Keep) Donors

Thanking people isn’t just good manners. It’s a powerful tool in the marketing arsenal of any non-profit organization. Particularly, acknowledging donors in public can help a non-profit grow. How does this work?


People who are publicly thanked for giving, even if it is for a small amount, are more likely to give again. They can enjoy the warm glow your gratitude and the approbation of the community at the same time, and the good feeling will encourage them to give more and more often. This was quantified recently in a series of studies: it found that people who were thanked were likely to give again 66% of the time, while people who were not thanked only gave again 32% of the time.

This public acknowledgement also assures people who may be unsure about giving to you that donating is a good plan. It makes your donors look like the ‘in’ crowd, and people, being social creatures, will want to join.

On a practical level, people may not have even known that you accept donations until the donors were acknowledged. Letting people know that donations are not only acceptable but part of their community’s activities will alert potential donors of the opportunity. If they already knew, the public thanks will remind them.

Gives Businesses An Incentive To Give

Probably the best way that publicly acknowledging donations grows your non-profit organization is that it attracts businesses who want cheap good PR. Thanking for-profit organizations in a public arena gives the business some exposure and associates them with charity, and even hard-nosed business publications such as acknowledges the PR benefits. Broadcasting your thanks lets other businesses know that there is an opportunity for cheap advertising.

So how can you publicly thank your donors?

There are many choices.

-You can develop a ‘well-wishers’ list on your website where you list people who have donated.

-If you have a podcast, you can read your list of donors in the end credits (At least one podcast lets people use their donor name as a chance to advertise their own business.)

-You can name a particular program that they donated to after them for a week: it can be ‘Ruth’s’ pantry this week and ‘Chris’s’ pantry the next.

-There are the classics: listing the donors on shirts or event programs.

– Write the donor’s names on utensils that you use at a fundraising event.

– Get Process Donations free fundraising platform to track your donors so you can ask them how they would like to be named publicly.

With all these ways to acknowledge donors, your chances for maximizing the impact is nearly limitless. Need time to pick a method? Process Donations makes dealing with the other details of running a non-profit easy, so you can focus on growing your organization one public thank you at a time.

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