I love receiving emails from readers or people who have seen me speak on how they handle their organization’s communications. Today I’m sharing a note from Theresa Swartwood, Director of Public Relations & Marketing, at Cross-Lines Community Outreach, Inc. Theresa shared her strategy for sending thank-you notes, and I think it is a great example of moving in the right direction.
We started sending monthly thank you notes with a personal note from me about two years ago. The response has been amazing. Several donors have called and said they look forward to my little personal notes of appreciation which I handwrite in the white space to the right of my signature. I basically just confirm what their donation was for and make them feel valued.
I also personally call any individual or business that makes a donation over $200. Six months ago I did this with a new donor and it blew her away. She supports 10 other charitable organizations, but we were the first one that called within 3 days. She was so impressed with our prompt and personal call that we are now in her top 5. Our Executive Director also sends a personal letter to any donor that gives over $500. So the same donor may be thanked 3 times: phone call, monthly thank you letter (personalized by me) and then a personal note from our Executive Director.
Theresa says she always sends thank yous the first week of the month to the previous month’s donors.
While the ideal might be to get thank you notes out within 72 hours, if you can’t quite make that happen, what can you make happen this year? Every little bit of progress in this department will make a big difference, as you can see from Theresa’s story.
Getting this right is really important. Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now has been talking about this all week in these must-read posts:
- Why send donor receipts right away? What’s the rush?
- 5 ways to love your donors
- How skimping on your donors can make you lose your shirt
Share some of the ways you are making progress on thanking donors more quickly and personally in the comments.