It’s a truism in fundraising that you can never say “thank you” too often. Thanks on receipt of a grant or gift; and thanks on later occasions such as the completion of the project or purchase of the equipment for which the grant was made.

I favour thanks as well when a later application for funding is made – and not just for the most recent grant or gift, but for all those the donor has made in previous years and the beneficial effect this has achieved.

In the era of coronavirus, where grants are fewer and more difficult to access, words of thanks need to be even more frequent and sincere. It has been said on many occasions in the past that fundraising is not about raising money, it is about establishing relationships. The truth of this has become all too apparent during the coronavirus epidemic.

Those of Minerva’s clients which have spent time and effort in the past in nurturing their donors, showing their gratitude in a raft of different ways, and creating and maintaining relationships have raised much more in coronavirus emergency funding than those which have not.

There are stories going around of donors who increased the size of their gifts several-fold simply because the receiving charity had established an effective relationship with them. For small charities, such cases may be relatively rare; but we have witnessed numerous incidences of donors increasing their grant size year on year because they were regularly thanked, and the receiving charities made an effort to build up a strong relationship and explain the differences their grants were making to the charity’s beneficiaries.

We cannot be sure what the post-coronavirus fundraising landscape will look like. One thing is sure, however: the historic need to thank regularly and build lasting relationships will become even more important for small charities’ survival.