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Capital campaigns are a time to celebrate your organization. They’re also a time to celebrate the people who, like you, believe wholeheartedly in the organization and its mission: Capital campaign donors. Sizeable capital campaign donations ought to be met with equally meaningful thank-you gifts. And while it is always a good idea to send thank-you letters and recognize donors in the next newsletter, original gifts are especially important in a capital campaign.“Thank you” as part of the system
With your donor database in hand, you now have the opportunity to segment by age, interest or participation level. You can save and update this spreadsheet on-the-go with a USB and then share it with your colleagues. Bring your team together to brainstorm special ways to thank capital campaign donors, ways that align with donor demographic and gift level. Personal thank you’s that align with your donors’ profiles are far more effective.

Another possible way to come up with appropriate capital campaign gifts is to simply ask. You can use your feasibility study as a time to prompt potential donors what an appropriate gift might be. In essence, what, from your organization, is most special to them? Chances are they’ll appreciate the directness and look forward to a gift they recommended!

Saying thanks with gifts
Here are a few more possible ideas of ways to reach out and recognize your donors based on their donor profile—and your mission!

  • Feature both medium and major gift donors by highlighting them with a photo and a corresponding story on Facebook®, or maybe even a video on YouTube®. Make the impact of their gift the central theme of the post.
  • Award young adult contributors silicone bracelets and recognizable “team” T-shirts or sweatshirts from the organization, both of which could generate a real cohesive feeling among supporters and inspire a little intrigue among friends and family who see them and are unfamiliar with the cause.
  • You can always name the building or part of a building after a significant donor, but you could also award donors with an original piece of artwork created by the residents the organization serves or local artists.
  • And while you could always send those pieces of art to the donors, you could also have a special hallway of framed works dedicated to specific donors denoted by elegant plaques underneath.
  • Similarly, send donors a black and white side profile picture in an elegant picture frame of a resident who directly benefitted from their donation. Provide information on how their donation made a difference for that individual.
  • Some organizations have really beautiful, exotic fish tanks or a tropical bird display. Creating one for a significant campaign donor would be an especially vibrant gift, something from which future clients and visitors alike would derive a lot of joy and entertainment.
  • Think green. Create green space like an especially catching landscape display or quiet area in honor of a noteworthy donor.
  • Likewise, you can name garden areas after significant donors and, to keep them invested, let donors pick and choose the colours each year by mailing a seed mix as a reminder.

No matter how you do it, thanking capital campaign donors is an integral part of the capital campaign process. The people, businesses and agencies that give generously towards your cause like to be recognized—and they deserve it, too. A really imaginative organization-specific gift will make them feel more involved, and more like a vital part of your organization’s mission moving forward.

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