4 Tips for Donor Thank You Gift Ideas

4 Tips for Thanking Your Donors for an Outstanding 2016

Donar Thank You Ideas Minneapolis

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—time to thank your donors for their generous support of your nonprofit organization! Most nonprofits are in the habit of sending out thank you letters for tax purposes. But giving your donors some extra end-of-year recognition helps bolster donor relationships and makes donors more inclined to give to your organization in the coming year.

As end-of-year recognition experts, we’ve put together some thoughts on how you can show your gratitude through donor thank you gifts so that your donors turn into habitual givers. Here a few things we’ve seen work for many of our nonprofit clients.

 

1. Create a System

Every donor deserves to be thanked for their generosity, no matter the size of the contribution. But your more generous donors also deserve to be thanked in proportion to their gifts. We suggest creating a tiered system for thanking your donors, perhaps something like this:

  • Gifts of $25 or less: Thank you letter
  • Gifts between $25 and $100: Thank you letter and a magnet or notepad
  • Gifts over $100: Personal thank you letter from your executive director and a mug or tote with your nonprofit’s logo and an “I Gave” message

The beauty of a tiered system is that everyone feels like their donations are appreciated, while your organization saves money by diversifying the types of recognition it gives out.

 

2. Make It Personal

We’re all inundated with generic emails and mailers, so when we get a note that’s personalized and better yet, handwritten, it really stands out. Your donors feel exactly the same way. That’s why personalizing your end-of-year recognition can go a long way with donors.

Here are a few ways to give your donors a personal thank you:

  • Mail a handwritten note
  • Send a personal email
  • Give them a quick call

However you send your personal thanks, be sure to include how each donor’s gift specifically helped your organization, whether it paid for new equipment, helped a family in need, or helped your organization broaden its work in your local area.

 

3. Give a Shout Out

Sometimes, the best thank you occurs in the moment. As donors make their end-of-year contributions, give them a quick shout out on social media or your website. They’ll likely share your shout out with their networks, which expands the reach of your organization, an added bonus.

Some nonprofits opt for more formal donor shout outs. Many organizations list donors by name in their annual reports. Others create donor walls at their offices that include the name of every donor who has made a contribution.

 

4. Host a Thank You Event

Have a loyal group of donors who have gone above and beyond in 2016? Show them some extra love by treating them to a special thank you event. Host your party at your office if possible to keep your costs low, or ask a donor to step in and sponsor the event at their location. Give out donor gifts in a special ceremony so everyone feels recognized. Keep the focus of the event on your gratitude—don’t ask for more support at the event itself.

Need help coming up with ideas for how to thank your 2016 donors? The recognition experts at Broadway Awards have you covered. Contact us today at 763-533-0979.

Corporate and Employee Holiday Gifts: An HR Manager’s Guide

Corporate and Employee Holiday Gifts: An HR Manager’s Guide

Corporate and Employee Holiday Gifts

It’s that time of year again—time for HR managers and business owners to decide what their organization is going to give as their corporate gift this holiday season. Your company’s gift to employees is an opportunity to show your appreciation, grow company culture, and stay true to your brand. Here’s what Broadway Awards recommends for corporate gifts in 2016.

 

If you’re a small business . . .

If you’re a small business owner with just a dozen or so employees, give a corporate gift that comes from the heart. Employees appreciate thoughtful gifts accompanied by a personal note from you. Depending on the size of your company, you could opt to give a different gift to each employee based on their personal interests or one gift that deeply reflects your company’s culture (an office espresso machine if your office is full of coffee aficionados, for example, or this personal one).

Whatever you choose, accompany your gift with a handwritten note expressing your gratitude for each employee and what they contribute to your team.

 

If you’re a startup . . .

New companies don’t have a lot of cash lying around to splurge on corporate gifts. But that doesn’t mean your employees should go without. Take a look at your company’s mission and core values for inspiration on what to give. Or, use corporate gifts to build your brand and loyalty among your employees. Team apparel, coffee mugs, or laptop bags are useful and culture building.

We recommend handwritten notes for startups, too. Show your employees you appreciate their dedication and hard work as you get your company off the ground.

 

If you’re a large corporation . . .

If you manage the HR department of a large corporation, you’ll likely decide on one or two items to purchase in bulk to give to your team. Take a look at the list of the gifts you’ve given the last few years to make sure you don’t repeat yourself. Run a few options by your HR team and your company’s leaders before settling on your final decision. Large corporations often give gifts such as tote bags, apparel, and travel mugs.

If you employ hundreds or thousands of employees, you can still include personal notes with your gift. Divide and conquer—ask your managers and team leaders to write personal notes to their staff, and send out a company-wide card or email from leadership.

Need help deciding what to give your employees in 2016? The team at Broadway Awards has years of experience helping entrepreneurs, startups, non-profits, schools, and large corporations find the perfect employee gifts. Contact the experts at Broadway Awards today at 763-533-0979.

12 Ideas for Fall Sports Season Honors and Awards

12 Ideas for Fall Sports Season Honors and Awards

Fall Sports Season Awards

Fall Sports Season Awards

The fall sports season is wrapping up, which means coaches and booster clubs are planning fall season awards ceremonies. If planning an athletes’ awards banquet has fallen on your shoulders this year, here are some ideas for how to honor the standout players and teams at your school.

 

Player Performance Awards

Most sports teams give awards for player performance. Use performance awards to recognize your top achievers and players who have improved the most over the season.

  • MVP: All-Around Player
  • MVP: Offensive Player
  • MVP: Defensive Player
  • Most Improved Player
  • Most Assists
  • Most Goals/Points/Touchdowns
  • Personal Record Achievers
  • School Record Achievers

 

Player Attitude Awards

Coaches know that great teams are built on attitude, not just performance. Recognize the players on your team that contributed positively to your team’s culture and attitude.

  • Team Leader
  • Sportsmanship
  • Best Mental Attitude
  • Most Hustle

 

Team Award

If your awards are part of a school-wide ceremony, get together with your fellow coaches or booster clubs and decide which team has earned the Outstanding Team Award. Use this award to recognize superior performance, most improved performance, or excellent sportsmanship.

 

What to Give as Awards

Now that you have your awards figured out, what do you give your athletes as recognition? Trophies are a traditional giveaway for athlete awards, but there are hundreds of other items you can give away as awards. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Apparel. Give away hoodies, hats, gloves, and scarves for the winter season.
  • Medallions. Students can carry these in their backpacks or keep them in their lockers.
  • Pins. High-school athletes love adding bling to their letterman jackets.
  • Ribbons. Another traditional giveaway that athletes can display in lockers or their bedrooms.
  • Backpack or Gear Bag. Shows off school spirit and is something athletes can use for years.

It’s not too late to order giveaways for your fall student athlete award ceremony. Contact the promotional products experts at Broadway Awards today at 763-533-0979.

5 Promotional Product Must-Haves for Start Up New Businesses

Start-Up Swag: 5 Promotional Product Must-Haves for New Businesses

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Congratulations on your new business! We know your to-do list is likely a mile long, and we’re here to help you choose the best start-up swag to promote your new venture. Here are the top promotional products you’ll need to get your business off on the right foot.

 

1. Pens

Pens—the old promotional stand-bys! There’s a reason pens are our top choice for must-have swag. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), more than half of all consumers in the United States own and use branded writing instruments. That means they’re looking at your brand and your contact information every day.

 

2. Bags

Own a store? Then you need branded bags. Bags create the most impressions on potential and current clients than any other promo products. Women are more likely to own a branded bag, so they’re definitely must-have swag for businesses with a predominantly female target market.

 

3. Magnets

Magnets are one of the hardest-working promo products. They sit on your prospects’ fridges for years, keeping your name and logo right in front of them. Add your headshot or create a custom shape for extra impact.

 

4. Chip Clips

Never underestimate people’s love of salty snacks! Chip clips are wide enough to include your logo and contact information and useful enough for prospects to keep them in their junk drawers for years. Magnetized chip clips do double duty for your brand.

 

5. Nametags

You might not think of your employee nametags as swag. But wearing a branded nametag is a great way to keep your brand in front of your clients and prospects, especially if you “forget” to take it off outside the workplace. The more creative and colorful the design, the better!

When you’re just starting your business, don’t forget to invest a little money in promotional products. The right swag will keep prospects thinking of your business for years to come. For helping creating your must-have swag, contact the promotional products experts at Broadway Awards today.

5 Clever Swag Ideas for Your Company Outing This Summer

5 Clever Swag Ideas for Your Company Outing This Summer

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June, July, and August are popular months for company outings. Many companies choose to host picnics, carnivals, and outings to amusement parks and ballgames. Whether you’re planning the entire event or simply purchasing group tickets, don’t forget to give your employees some valuable swag. Here are 5 clever swag ideas for your company outing this summer.

 

1. Beach Bundle

Headed to the lake for your company picnic? Treat your guests to a bundle of beachy goodies. This kit comes with a beach ball, Frisbee, stadium cup, and sunglasses. Choose colors that match your branding and complement your logo.

 

2. Bluetooth Speaker

Bluetooth speakers make it easy for your employees to take their tunes with them on summer vacations. This chargeable one stays synched up to 30 feet from a mobile device. Choose a color and add your logo.

 

3. Cooler Camp Chair

A portable chair and a cooler all in one. Perfect for tailgating, camping, and enjoying an outdoor concert or ballgame. This chair can hold up to four cans and comes in three colors. Add your logo for a custom giveaway.

 

4. Keep Cool Bandana

The dog days of summer are ahead of us. Give your employees a way to cool off with this bandana that retains water while staying dry to the touch. Add your logo and choose from blue, gray, orange, or pink.

 

5. First Aid Kit

In the health care industry? Why not keep your employees safe this summer? This first aid kit comes with everything you need to administer basic first aid. Choose from a red or blue pack and add your logo.

Did this list get your creative juices flowing? If you have a clever idea for a product for your company outing, contact the experts at Broadway Awards. We’ll help you find the perfect giveaway for your next event.

Get Ready for End-of-Year School Awards

Get Ready for End-of-Year School Awards

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It’s that time again—time to order year-end awards for your school’s top performers. End-of-year awards banquets are a fun way to recognize your school’s best and brightest. Honor them with a memorable and thoughtful token of their hard work.

 

Academic and School Community Awards Ceremonies

Every year, schools across Minnesota host ceremonies for students who achieved academic excellence and went above and beyond for the school community. Recognize seniors who have earned scholarships and students who have served in student government. Honor students who have earned a spot in the National Honor Society and those who clocked 100 or more hours of volunteer time.

Academic and community awards range from the traditional to the unexpected. Medallions, ribbons, crystal or acrylic awards, trophies, and plaques are always great choices. Consider awarding students with a nice pen and pencil set or a personalized, embossed planner to use in the next school year.

 

Awards for Sports and Music Banquets

Often, schools recognize students for their performance on sports teams and in musical ensembles. Sports and music banquets are often the last time an entire team or band will be together. It gives them a chance to reflect on the past year or season, share goals and successes, and be recognized.

Ribbons and trophies are popular awards for both sports teams and musical ensembles. Think outside the box and consider honoring students with special jackets or sweatshirts. Present them with equipment bags with their names, position or chair, and your school’s mascot.

The end of the school year is an exciting time for students, parents, and staff. Recognize your school’s outstanding students with a special award and ceremony. The experts at Broadway Awards can help you design the perfect award. Contact us to get started today.

Plan the Rest of Your 2016 Award & Advertising Spending to Prep for Next Year’s April 15

Plan the Rest of Your 2016 Award & Advertising Spending to Prep for Next Year’s April 15

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Whew! Tax day is finally behind us. If you owed more than you expected to this year, ordering employee awards, swag, and promotional products now could save you money on your 2016 taxes. Planning your upcoming recognition and advertising can help you make the most of your tax deductions.

 

Employee awards & prizes are tax-deductible

If you host an employee appreciation event, run an employee weight loss challenge, or give out monthly, quarterly, or annual awards, you might be leaving tax deductions on the table. Awards and swag related to employee recognition is tax-deductible.

Here are just a few products you might be able to deduct:

 

Promotional products used in advertising could be tax-deductible, too

The IRS also allows you to deduct the cost of certain products used to market your company. To be eligible, items must be used to reach your customers and prospects, increase brand recognition, or provide information about your products and services. In other words, if your logo’s on it, it is likely deductible.

This potential deduction encompasses a large group of products. Here are just a few:

 

Plan your employee recognition and advertising now

There’s lots of opportunity to save money on employee recognition and advertising for 2016 and even in 2017. Take the time now to look ahead to the rest of 2016 and plan out the products you’ll need. To save even more money, plan out your recognition and advertising for 2017, too. If you buy 2017 products this year, you’ll be able to deduct those expenses on your 2016 return.

We’re not tax experts, so be sure to keep all your receipts and confirm with your CPA that your employee awards and advertising are deductible. But we are experts in inventive and quality employee recognition and promotional products. Contact Broadway Awards to get help planning your 2016 and 2017 awards.

It’s Spring Break Season! Time to Think about Awards and Giveaways for Your School’s Reunion Weekend

It’s Spring Break Season! Time to Think about Awards and Giveaways for Your School’s Reunion Weekend

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As students finish up coursework and pack their bags for spring break, school alumni relations offices are gearing up for their biggest event of the year: reunion. Welcoming alumni back to campus for a weekend takes a lot of planning. By spring break time, your reunion schedule is set and RSVPs from alums are coming in. It’s time to order the giveaways and awards you’ll hand out.

 

Give ‘em something to remember you by

Reunions are all about reconnecting: reconnecting with classmates, professors, and of course your school. Giving away items with your school logo or mascot helps keep that connection strong even when alumni head back home.

T-shirts and wristbands help alums celebrate the reunion and show school spirit, at least for a year or two after reunion. T-shirts and wristbands can be given away as pre-reunion gifts to get alumni in a celebratory mood. Encourage alums to wear their t-shirts and wristbands at reunion.

Other giveaways make a more lasting impact. Sturdy tote bags and backpacks are usable for years to come. Keychains can be daily reminders of the fun time alums had at reunion, as can water bottles and mugs.

 

Alumni awards and recognition

Reunion is a great to celebrate the successes of your alumni. Ask alumni to nominate and vote for classmates who have made a difference in their communities, are rising stars in their industries, or have become active philanthropists. Have your school give an award for the alumni who continue to be very involved in your institution.

You can use all sorts of awards to recognize alums. For the most prestigious honors, choose a crystal or acrylic award. For awards with multiple winners, give plaques or medallions. A nice pen or pen set makes a great award, too.

Now is the time to order your awards and giveaways for reunion weekend. For help selecting the perfect products, contact the experts at Broadway Awards today.

5 Trends for Trade Shows in 2016

5 Trends for Trade Shows in 2016

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The Twin Cities trade show season is kicking into high gear, and Broadway Awards is your one-stop-shop for creative and cost-effective promotional products to help you get through it. Promo products are always popular with trade show attendees. Here are some of the season’s top trade show trends to help you take your trade show experience from good to great—and make more money.

 

1. Trade Show Apps

People are more connected than ever, and trade show attendees are no exception. Event apps tap into that desire to stay in the loop. It’s likely the larger trade shows you’ll attend this season will have their own apps. Be sure to download it for maps, a schedule of events, and even foot traffic data showing you where the show hot spots are.

 

2. Flawless Social Media Integration

Trade show attendees use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to talk about what they’re seeing and experiencing. Now, SnapChat has launched Our Story, which allows attendees to snap and share the story of their trade show experience with others. Social media is a trade show marketer’s goldmine! Be sure to interact with your audience there while you’re hosting your booth.

 

3. Personalized & Interactive Trade Show Booths

All this online engagement can help you create a personalized, interactive experience for the attendees who visit your booth. Use the analytics from the trade show app and your social media accounts to tailor your booth experience to different segments of your market. Give your visitors a chance to personalize their experience by making your booth interactive.

 

4. Multimedia Displays

An engaging booth creates an immersive visitor experience using different media. Include print marketing materials, video, and interactive displays with tablets at your trade show booth. Draw in visitors with giveaways or a fun game. The more engaging your booth is, the more opportunities you’ll have to speak with your prospects and networking partners.

 

5. Be Present

Apps, social media, videos, and interactive booths are great, but none of them are substitutes for a smiling face and knowledgeable booth attendant. Technology is just one tool for building a successful trade show booth. People still buy from people they know, like, and trust.

Before you head out on your trade show circuit, don’t forget to stock up on your favorite promotional products. Contact Broadway Awards for limitless options, from pens and flash drives to apparel and edible treats.

6 Creative Prizes for Your Office’s Weight Loss Challenge

6 Creative Prizes for Your Office’s Weight Loss Challenge

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‘Tis the season for weight loss challenges and other New Year’s resolutions. Support your employees’ wellness goals with a fun and competitive weight loss challenge. To sweeten the pot, here are 6 creative awards to use as incentives.

 

1. Lunch Totes

An insulated lunch tote makes it easy for your employees to bring healthy food to work. We love the Big Bite Lunch Kit because it includes an insulated bag, plastic container, and utensils. Add your logo or the name of your company’s weight loss challenge to personalize it for your employees. Add the word “Finisher” to make the totes a prize for completing the challenge.

 

2. Cold-Weather Workout Gear

When it’s below zero outside, it’s tough to find the motivation to exercise. Reward your employees with some cold-weather fitness gear. Hats, gloves, and even long underwear make great awards for Minnesota weight loss challengers.

 

3. Activity Trackers

Pedometers can provide great motivation for people who are trying to become more active. Give one out to each participant at the beginning of the challenge so they can track their steps. Then, reward the top earner with a Bluetooth FitBit activity tracker.

 

4. Water Bottles

A water bottle is a traditional choice, but still a great option for your weight loss challenge. Give the bottles away at the start of the challenge and encourage participants to drink at least 64 ounces per day throughout the work day.

 

5. Wicking Fitness Gear

Fitness gear that wicks away sweat keeps the body cool and comfortable during workouts. A wicking t-shirt makes a great award for your weight loss challenge finishers. Customize it with your logo, challenge name, and the word “Finisher.”

 

6. Awards & Trophies

Trophies and other awards also make great prizes for weight loss challenges. We like this tongue-in-cheek treadmill desk clock. Or, go more conventional by customizing your very own weight loss trophy.

Weight loss challenges can be a lot of fun. Reward your employees for their hard work with a creative award. To customize your award, contact the experts at Broadway Awards.