The Holiday season is a time of love and a time of family. The Holiday season brings out the spirit of generosity. Everything about giving has excitement in it: the search for the gift, the wrapping of the gift, and the anticipation of giving the gift. But nothing quite beats the feelings when you give the gift to your loved one. The smile on their face and the warm embrace that follows is really what giving is all about.

Many non-profits this time of year receive donations for that same reason. However, it is hard for organizations to extend a warm hand of gratitude to their donors in the same way.  This is never truer than when donors give online.

How should you thank donors who donate online?

Three things you should do –

1) Targeted Campaign ‘Thank You’ Page

We live in a technology driven era. But that does not mean that we have to loose all elements of personal connection. After the donor makes a gift, they should be taken to a landing page that thanks them. This page should be tailored to the campaign to which they responded. Imagery, content and even a video thank you can add a personal touch.

2) Personalized ‘Thank You’ Email

Every donor should receive an automatically generated email response. It will be shorter then a letter, but each email should include all the basic elements of a great thank you letter. Include personal fields: their name, the purpose of the gift, and the amount donated.

3) Physical ‘Thank You’ Letter

Finally, but most importantly, follow up the email in the very near future with a letter. Otherwise, non-profits start to treat their online and offline donors as two separate classes. The people who happen to send a check will get a hand written letter with informational inserts. Online donors might not feel personally involved without a physical ‘Thank You’ letter, and consequently, they also might not be as involved. Every person who gives a gift wants to know that his or her gesture impacted someone. Additionally, it is always nice to have confirmation you’re your gift has been received.  Without that knowledge, why would a donor want to give again?

Giving a gift is showing love towards one another.  In the world of technology, let us not get caught up in the efficiencies the Internet offers us, but instead, let us hold on to the purpose of giving this Holiday season.