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Donor acknowledgement is more than just saying the words

By March 31, 2010September 25th, 2014Donor Engagement, Withisms

87% of donors in Penelope Burk’s study that inspired her must-read book Donor Centered Fundraising said whenever they give, they wish to be acknowledged promptly and in a meaningful way, and THIS INSPIRES MORE GIVING!

44% of donors said promptness alone could inspire another gift. (Guidelines: within 48 hours make the personal thank you follow up with phone call or hand written note, and within two weeks send the tax receipt along with a thank you letter.)

How does your organization handle the thank you process? Do you have a plan and meaning attached to it? Or, is it done by rote using the same letter for months and for every donor? Does it happen quickly? Do you vary the way you thank your donors?

Just last week I was thrilled to hear Katya Andresen (@KatyaN4G) from Network for Good deliver a keynote message based on her new eBook: The 8 Fundraising Changes You Must Make. From her speech, four parts of a good thank you:

  • Personal
  • Tangible
  • Emotional
  • About the donor, not you!

Here are a few more great resources that will help you deepen donor engagement simply by planing how and when you thank them.

Check out “10 Unique Ways to Thank Major Donors” from Richard Male & Associates and “Thanking Donors On A Dime” by Danielle Hamilton at StepbyStep Fundraising.

Download this great read from Pamela Grow’s, “Creating Lifetime Donors” report. It is chock full of great ideas about building deeper relationships with donors via thank you letters. The report includes some nuggets of donor research like, on average, for every six new donors an organization acquires five of their existing donors will leave.

From Future Fundraising Now, check out the post “Seven More Ways To Write Better Fundraising Copy” that totally applies to thank you letters as well as any fundraising copy.

These resources will help you get started on planning your donor acknowledgement strategy. Next week, I’ll give you my recommendations on how to make meaningful thank you calls and even share an outline that includes the points you should cover in that call.

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