“A thank-a-thon is an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with your donors… we’ve also included volunteers, trustees, corporate supporters… it’s building meaningful relationships and gives you a chance to stop chasing new donors and concentrate on the ones that you’ve got…” - Emma Bracegirdle
In this episode, we speak with Emma Bracegirdle, friend of the show and founder of The Saltways, who we spoke with back in episode 262 or the podcast about ethical content creation and the importance of it in telling authentic and sensitive stories. In this episode we speak with Emma about her experience of running thank-a-thons, and what charities should consider before doing this, and how it can help improve supporter retention and increase a sense of loyalty and desire to give.
1. A reminder on ethical content creation
Taking the time to create authentic, co-designed communications is a vital component of any charity seeking to demonstrate their sensitivity to the issue they are grappling with as part of their mission. Putting the people in your charity videos first and making sure to be aware of their needs and their story is crucial, and it is a good filter to ensure that the message for your audience is simple, clear, and has a concise call to action.
2. Thank-a-thons and what they can achieve
Saying thank you to people is more than a nice thing to do, it’s also plays a vital part of any comms and fundraising strategy. It’s far more efficient to keep your supporters than to go out and find new ones. A thank-a-thon is also an opportunity to say thank you to those who are helping your charity and explain the impact they are making and answer any questions and take on feedback to help improve how you do things.
Emma said that from her experience, and while not the objective, a thank-a-thon can result in an uplift in giving from your existing supporters, as well as encourage them to stay with you and continue their support.
3. Tips for running a thank-a-thon
Emma’s tips for running a thank-a-thon include:
Doing it annually as a part of your retention plans.
Not having the fundraising team do this and to get buy in from the rest of the organisation instead, such as front line staff, volunteers, trustees, etc.
Break down your list of donors and list of staff and match up who contacts who.
A phone call, handwritten thank you card, or email work well.
And remember that it’s really important that there isn’t an ask but it’s worth having a shopping list in case the donor brings it up when you’re speaking with them.
4. Find out more
Here is The Saltways website where you can contact Emma: www.thesaltways.com
We hope you enjoy this episode.
Related episodes that you may be interested in:
E262 - Ethical Content Creation with Emma Bracegirdle
E145 - Small Charity Leadership with Macarena Martinez
E93: Tips for Video with Hannah Kaplan