Grateful kitten

Every animal shelter or rescue organization could use more money, right? One of the most important tools for the care and cultivation of donors is one that comes after they make their first gift: the thank you. Here’s how you can knock yours out of the park.

Making sure a donor “thank you” email is automatically sent out to everyone who contributes to your organization is an essential first step toward retaining financial supporters, but it’s often a bit on the dry side.

That’s not the case with Heaven on Earth, a cat sanctuary and adoption center in the Los Angeles area. When you donate to them, you get something really special in response: thanks from the cats and kittens themselves.

It’s a charming, funny and endearing way to your supporters’ hearts. And as Mark Rovner, founder and principal at Sea Change Strategies pointed out in his presentation at the 2016 Best Friends National Conference, keeping donors happy is critical to the success of any animal organization’s fundraising success.

Of course the automatic “thank you” can’t be the end of your interaction with your donors, but the kind of positive emotional connection a message like this creates will go a long way to cementing that relationship.

Check out Heaven on Earth’s donor ‘thank you’ video below, and think about creative ways you can show gratitude to your contributors!