How Many Thank-Yous Will I Get This Year?

Photo by Orin Zebest on Flickr

Photo by Orin Zebest on Flickr

I just donated $20 each to 10 national charities via the Capital One No Hassle Giving site, using my credit card miles. Want to guess how many thank-you notes I’ll get?

I’m not talking about the automated emails that Network for Good, the payment processor, sends. I received those immediately. I’m talking about real thank-you notes from the charities.

I call this the “What I Got When I Gave” experiment, and when I did the same thing last year, the results were dismal. I heard back from only a third of the charities and the follow-up even from the ones I heard from has been limited to non-existent over the last year.

The original purpose of this experiment was to learn how some of the nation’s top nonprofits cultivate new donors through communications over time. That’s hard to do when they don’t communicate with donors at all.

Will this year’s recipients do a better job? I’ll let you know ┬áin January.

Thank you notes aren’t the last step you take after receiving a gift; they are the first step you take in receiving the second gift. If you want some help learning how to write a really amazing thank you note that helps turn a one-time donor into a long-term supporter, join us on Thursday, December 17 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern (Noon Pacific) for our next webinar, “Writing Thank You Notes that Inspire Future Gifts.”