The holiday season is nearly upon us, which for most of us means spending time with your family exchanging presents.

I grew up in a city far away from both sets of my Grandparents, which means we couldn’t see each other every Christmas. As I got older (read: a hard-to-buy-for teen), if they couldn’t come up, they’d send money or gift cards to me and my brother.

And just as my mum had taught us to do, I’d always call to thank them and let them know how I planned to spend it (saving for a new electric guitar). A few months on, I’d usually give an update on how my purchase was going (rocking out).

After my grandfather died this year, my grandmother told me that he always appreciated the phone call and liked hearing what we’d been up to. He liked hearing that their present had gone to something that brought us joy… and he remembered if we’d forgotten to call to say thanks.

It’s no different with your donors – they will definitely notice if you forget to thank them, but unlike my grandparents, there’s no reason for them to give again. And they won’t.

Thank your donors promptly, and remind them why their gift is so important to you. Be specific if you can – help them visualize exactly how their gift is going to make a difference, and then a few months later, tell them how you spent their money. Did you manage to make an important research breakthrough? Or maybe you secured a clean water supply for a village? Don’t just assume that they already know.

You’ll hopefully be receiving many gifts at the moment. Do your part and give back to them – it will bring them joy to know their donation has helped make a difference. And it’ll deepen their commitment to your cause – and to you.

Happy holidays!