Take a minute and think of a memorable ‘first’ in your life.
It could be a first kiss, a first car, a first job, marriage, child, dance, etc. What came to mind?

The first time I did this exercise I remembered my first kiss, my first date (Yikes, that was awful!), my first job, my first speeding ticket and my first successful garden.

Now I’d like you to think about that first experience and determine if there would be a way to replicate that exact experience with your ‘second’ car, kiss, etc. Could you create the feelings, emotions, time and place of that first experience again?

Sometimes I have folks tell me their second grandchild was just as amazing as their first.  But upon further reflection, they can not replicate that very first time. I know you can have your ‘first’ kiss with each person you date, but it is every REALLY like your very first kiss? Can your first day at your first job every be replicated at your first day at your second, fifth or eighth job?

Now, think about your donors.

Do you have a special way to recognize your first-time donors?

If not, why?

A first-time donor will never be a first-time donor again.

You will NOT get a second chance to make them feel special about their first gift. Do you want them to have great memories of when they joined your community of donors? Do youwant them to have great feelings associated with their giving and choosing to give to you? If you answered yes to these questions, you need to have a plan in place for how you will thank these donors and engage them after their first gift.

Most folks I work with or meet do NOT have a specific plan in place for thanking first-time donors. The ones that do, have pretty good ideas and have thought through the process.  I would love to hear what you are doing to get your first-time donors giving again and keeping them engaged.  Please share comments on this blog so others can benefit as they create their own recognition plan.

Check out our YouTube Channel later this week to hear my personal story of how a first-time gift was handled and the life-long impression it left on me.