Gratitude makes relationships stronger and is one of the most essential and effective kinds of communication with benefactors. Showing that you’re grateful proves how much you value your benefactors and how much you see them as integral parts of your team. When you send customized messages of appreciation, amity grows between you and your benefactors and gets the more involved with your organization. Here are 4 ways you can show true appreciation:

1. Personalize your interactions.

No better way exists by which you can prove that your benefactors are of utmost importance to you than showing interest in their individual lives in your messages to them. Communicate with your monthly helpers individually, and even more with big-time benefactors as valued team members. Get a board member or a member of your organization to draft a handwritten note and send across. Be very communicative so as to foster smoother relations with benefactors.

2. Share stories of people.

Make your noble cause come alive by showing real beneficiaries and telling their stories. Benefactors would be driven to do more if they get to see the exact persons their benevolence have helped. Adding short interviews and feature stories of the beneficiaries in your community to the newsletters you send across to donors are brilliant ways to emphasize what your organization is all about.

3. Be innovative.

Being innovative would show that you actually pay attention to detail while communicating. Little things like incorporating the profiles of the benefactors into the newsletters would show your gratitude. Come up with new ways of making your interactions with them more personal. Make videos that put the input of benefactors on display. A smartphone can be used to make these videos and they’ll be appreciated by donors regardless of the quality. Create opportunities for monthly benefactors to meet with staff using platforms like Google Hangouts or Zoom and send invitations across. There is a plethora of opportunities and possibilities for creative interaction.

4. Focus on donors.

Your work would be crippled without donors so know that they’ll know the value you place on them by how often you focus on them. Mention their great feats and portray them as the fuel that pushes your work forward. In your letters to them, pay more attention to the things you’re achieving together. Emphasize that you see them as real partners. When making statements, use pronouns that focus on them like, “you, your” and put their names in statements about you and they.

Using these tips in your interactions with your benefactors will impress upon them the level of your gratitude, making them feel like they truly are team members. It doesn’t just feel good to be appreciated, it propels one to do more and that means more donors would be involved as time goes on.