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:
$25,000 for an organization provides financial and social assistance program for families of children with cancer – for general operating expenses
$25,000 for an agency that provides services to abused and neglected children – for a program to provide essential supplies to children who have just been removed from their homes by Child Protective Services
$25,000 for a organization that operates a food pantry – for a freezer/refrigerator system
$10,000 for an agency that assists individuals returning to society after being incarcerated – for general operating expenses
$10,000 for an organization that provides services to battered women and their children – for services to children
$10,000 for an agency that provides temporary housing for women recovering from substance addiction – for general operating expenses
The topic of our next blog on Tuesday, November 1st, will be “Why Nonprofit Organizations Have Difficulty Attracting and Keeping Volunteers.”
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Murray Covens, Principal