How to Host a Thank a Thon
Are you fundraising a lot? Asking for donations, gifts, and prizes constantly? It might be time to make your next event a Thank a Thon. If you want any type of longevity in fundraising in your local community, it would be wise to start thanking people. There are plenty of reasons, which we’ll get into later on, but first of all we need to explain what a Thank a Thon is.
What is a Thank a Thon?
While you can host a Thank a Thon whenever you like and as many times in a year as possible, the one time of year you can’t miss out on is Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect time of year to let your supporters know they’re appreciated.
There are a few ways to host a Thank a Thon, but ultimately, all it needs is a quick thank you. You can choose to do this in a number of ways, but here are a couple of our favorites.
Hosting a virtual Thank a Thon
This one is perfect for sports teams. Start live streaming on your social channels or host it on a secure online platform and invite people to your screening. You can announce your thanks in real time to a bunch of people – but why would they watch?
Well, we believe it’s a great way to look at a season’s highlights. Include training videos, match day moments, and even clips traveling to and from events. These highlights might relate to a product – for example, the moment the kit man was covered in dirty laundry. That can be sponsored by someone who donated a signed jersey to your silent auction fundraiser. Do you see where we’re going with this?
If you don’t want to live stream your thanks online, you can always record it. It could be a short video clip filled with many people saying thank you. Talking about how their contribution helped. Remember that if a company donated a fruit basket for the silent auction, it isn’t the fruit basket that you’re thanking them for – it’s the money that the event raised for your basketball team to get new sneakers.
Hosting a real-life Thank a Thon
You might choose to create another event. One where you can raise even more funds by hosting a raffle or tricky tray. We suggest that if you do your Thank a Thon in real life, you really focus on the sponsors and donors. Promote their company, promote their products, and highlight everything they’ve done for you in your fundraising efforts. You might give them a free table to enjoy at the fundraising event or a free dinner – even a free drink is enough gratitude to encourage them to continue helping.
Why should you host a Thank a Thon?
Apart from the fact that we believe gratitude is essential if you’re involved in fundraising, there are plenty of reasons to host a Thank a Thon. Remember, your donors and sponsors aren’t just there to pump funds into your non-profit.
Here are a few other reasons:
- It helps encourage them to keep donating
If you do a favor for someone (which is essentially what donating is) and they don’t have the basic manners to say thank you, how likely are you to donate again? Not very likely. Sure, you might say thank you in the moment they donate or perhaps at the event. But an extensive public thank you? That’s going above and beyond to make someone feel appreciated – making them want to donate again.
- It keeps you in touch with them in between events
It can be a bit awkward, only staying in touch because you need something. It signifies that the relationship is perhaps one-sided and you’re using them for their donations. While it may be true, it’s certainly not how you want your donators to feel. Thanking them in a Thank a Thon keeps you in touch so that when you’re asking for a favor, you’re speaking to a friend, not a stranger/acquaintance.
- It allows businesses the chance to donate again without asking
Just like with point number one, you want to help encourage people to donate. After they’ve donated a few times and they see the positive effect that their efforts have had, they may start looking for the opportunity to donate. Announcing them and speaking to them at a Thank a Thon is a great opportunity.
- It gives your fundraising efforts a positive reputation in the community
You don’t want to be known as the annoying group that’s always asking for help. On the other hand, you want your name to be out there as the group in the community to donate to. So by thanking your sponsors and donators on a regular basis in a multitude of ways, you can be known as the non-profit that appreciates everyone.
Senior Client Service Manager
Katie heads up the UK Client Success team. With experience working with a multitude of organisations across Europe, Katie has in depth knowledge about what it takes to run successful fundraising campaigns and events. Her passion for advising clients on how to maximise their fundraising is fueled by helping them meet and exceed their goals!