3 Quick Ways to Delight Your Donors for the Holidays


The holidays are a lovely time to send gifts and greetings to your donors.

And I have a gift for YOU, my reader, this year! Here’s my super Eggnog Recipe! right here!

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Here’s a perfect card from the American Humane Society that totally reflects its mission.

You’re probably planning to send holiday cards and/or gifts to some of your donors, right?

Please don’t send the usual boring holiday card –that is all about YOU.

Don’t send a card that is a picture of your staff – all wearing holiday garb and smiles and saying “happy holidays! (Yawn.)

How can you send a truly meaningful holiday message?

What do I mean by “meaningful?”

It is about showing your donors how much they mean to you.

HOW can you make the holiday card or gift about your service to the world?

HOW can you bring your donor joy that they are part of your amazing cause?

Use this special opportunity to CONNECT your donors with your mission yet again.

Here are my tips on how to create a “donor-centered” holiday season:

1. Send holiday CARDS featuring your work.

How about a card drawn by a kid your organization serves?

If you are an arts organization, perhaps a card from the ballerinas, or the actors.

Cards like this Rosh Hashanah card, drawn by young people, are more meaningful.

If you are a school, a card from the students.

If you are a hospital, a card from the doctors and nurses.

If you are trying to save the frogs, then send a gorgeous picture of a frog – perhaps with the words “Thank you” coming from its mouth.

Why not try to be original this holiday season?

Whatever you do, please don’t make the card all about yourself.

Make it about your work. Make the donor happy.

2. Send a little GIFT featuring your work.

Donors really don’t like for you to spend money on them. But what about a handmade gift – created by someone you serve?

If you are a frog lover, you'd LOVE this gift from Save the Frogs!

If you are a frog lover, you’d LOVE this gift from Save the Frogs!

I had the honor of conducting a board retreat with Magnolia Community Services in New Orleans this week.

This organization serves developmentally disabled adults and kids.

When we discussed holiday gifts for special donors, the board members suddenly grabbed hold of the idea.

They have a gift shop where they sell ornaments and cards made by the people they serve.

Suddenly the board members were organizing hand deliveries of little gifts from their shop to their current

and prospective donors.

And these gifts totally reflect the powerful mission that this organization tackles every single day.

3. Send a holiday card or gift that makes your donor go “awwwwww.”

Bingo! You have just touched your donor’s heart.

You have just made her happy.

I think we should ALL work toward the perfect moment when we can get our donor to say “awwwwww.”

You know what that is like.

It just comes from nowhere – and you have nailed a message that truly touched your donor’s heart.

You have just connected her with your mission, your deep work – bringing her surprise and delight.

Why not try to make YOUR holiday card the one card that goes up on your donor’s refrigerator because she loves looking at it so much.

AND – if it’s already too late for this right now, why not plan a Valentine’s card to your donors that is just as sweet and touching?


Don’t miss this time to connect with your donors.

What are YOU doing this year to show YOUR donors some love?