Someone asked me recently if they should plan to send a small thank-you gift when people sign up for their monthly giving program. Here’s what I said:
I wouldn’t give any kind of gift. Your monthly donors don’t want a “thing” for making a donation. They just want to know that they are making a difference in someone’s life.
Share with them how their monthly gift will help – you’ll be able to plan better because you can count on their gift; you’ll be able to respond to emergencies faster; you’ll be able to take advantage of new opportunities, etc.
Your donors give because they care. You can offend them if they perceive that you’ve spent their gift on a mug or a bag or some such instead of using it to help the people you’re serving.