These ideas can also be applied to donations other than grants.
Writing a thank-you letter to grantors is the most basic way to recognize their grant, and you should send these letters as soon as possible. A good rule of thumb is to send the letters within a week of notification of approval of the grant (which will sometimes be before the check is received). Personalize these letters as well; not only recognizing grantors by name, but also thanking them specifically for the amount of the grant and thanking them for the overall good charitable work done by their foundation or company. Thank-you letters should be sent by mail, and should be personally signed.
You can add a webpage to your organization’s site that acknowledges grantors. Create an online grantor wall, or you can choose to devote entire pages to your grantors.
Newsletters and Brochures
Both printed and online newsletters are effective ways to recognize grantors. Grantors can also be named in your organization’s literature, such as brochures.
A formal press release may be issued that honors large or significant grants. Some grantors request press releases. If you are holding a fundraising event, you can thank your grantors in the program and at the event.
If it is within your organization’s means, you can give your grantors a physical token of your appreciation. Inexpensive gifts such as medallions, mugs, and tote bags can appropriately demonstrate to your grantors that you care about their contributions.
Privileges and Perks
You can recognize grantors by offering them a privilege or perk for which your organization normally charges, such as invitations to events or free tickets to fundraisers.
You can honor grantors and build a sense of community between your grantors by holding a recognition party. This could consist of a formal evening, with awards for especially generous grantors, or it could be a more informal affair, such as a coffee and cake hour or a cocktail reception.
Plaques, Bricks, Walls and Recognition Displays
For large grants, plaques or bricks may be engraved with the grantor’s’ name, creating an attractive and permanent commemoration of their grant. A display which explains the history of your latest fundraising effort and its contributors can be prominently exhibited on your organization’s premises or at its events. Such a display not only helps others to understand your fundraising project, but also provides an opportunity for making sure that grantors feel valued.
Recent grants received by our clients include:
$89,000 for a church – to replace windows in their faith formation facility
$60,000 for an organization that provides assistance to families of children in the last stages of terminal cancer – for last wishes
$40,000 for an agency that gives youth in the juvenile justice system the skills needed to break the cycle of incarceration and create positive futures – for expansion of their horticultural program
Murray Covens, Principal