Nonprofits: Don't Send the Same Old Donor Gifts
Updated: Jul 8
Another pen with your logo on the side? The same old keychain? Don't do it.
Donor appreciation gifts can not only be great ways to say "thank you" to trusted partners, but also opportunities to keep the mission in front of them and even allow them to become ambassadors on your behalf. So they should be well thought out, high quality products that represent your nonprofit well.
Organizations often create gifts that tie into the mission but don't usually ask themselves whether or not their donors will actually need or utilize the products. The best gifts have the donor in mind and represent your understanding of who they are. Here are a few items that could appeal to different personas within your donor base.
Your donors who love to write likely also highly value quality products that pertain to that practice. High quality stationary, customized journals, embossed or carved writing pens, or a well-designed storage bin for such items are excellent, useful items that they will treasure. On a smaller scale, consider products that compliment those types of items, like customized highlighters sets, stickers, washi tape, or stretchy bands to add to their favorite journals. Each of those items can be manufactured with quality and customized for your brand.
Among your donors, there are likely some who are always on the go. And the regular traveler is usually pretty particular about what they take along, so a little creativity and an eye on quality is key. However, the right product could become a traveling billboard for your brand all over the world. Branded phone chargers, phone cases, travel chargers, and other such travel accessories can be great gifts that are used on a regular (daily) basis. You can also step up your game and offer a custom multifunctional bag, backpack, or passport case. Just keep in mind that travelers can be quite picky, so don't overlook quality to ensure it's something they'll treasure and utilize.
Your donors are all givers, but there are certainly some who simply love to give gifts. These types of donors might enjoy custom wrapping paper, gift bags, or even a pair of customized scissors. Well designed, beautiful paper will not only be a useful tool, but also a creative way for your donors to share about your mission with their loved ones.
Your outdoors-ey donors are often traveling from destination to destination, as well. Some of the traveler ideas could be useful for them, as could a nice reusable branded water bottle (plastic, glass, or aluminum) or travel mug, a branded hammock, or some nice gloves or headband. You could also appeal to their athletic side, offering up a branded yoga mat, workout bands, ear pods (w/ branded charging box), or athletic bag.
The average knick knack may not be the best choice for your donors who love games, but you can have a lot of fun creating products they'll love. You can add your branding to existing games, like packs of cards. Or you can create your own puzzles, cards, or even a strategy games that align with your mission. Though it takes a little creativity on the front end, creating games can be a lot of fun for both you and your donors and are fairly inexpensive to print.
For donors who enjoy spending time in the kitchen, offer a recipe box (cards in a custom tin box) to store their favorite family recipes to be passed down for generations. If your nonprofit is international, create a cookbook with recipes from all around the world. Or a nice set of branded measuring cups, a set of nice coffee mugs with a display tree, or a high quality oven mitt could do the trick.
Donors who love to host others in their home can be incredible ambassadors for your nonprofit, because other potential partners are in their home regularly. A couple of common products that remains wonderful ideas for in-home display are a beautifully constructed coffee table book or stunning prints to hang on the wall. Consider other things that might be used regularly by hosts or displayed in homes, like drinking glasses, high quality blankets, or hand towels.
These are a few simple ideas that will hopefully spur creativity as you continue to nurture the relationship with the partners who are funding the mission. And, of course, we're here to help when it's time to create—we'll take the guesswork out of the process so you can stay focused on the mission.
If you're ready to create brand-developing products that connect with your clientele and further your mission, CōDRA is the collaborative partner you need. Contact us here.