Practical Advice for Modern Fundraisers



: serious and quiet because you are thinking: done or made after careful thinking   : done or made after careful thinking: showing concern for the needs or : showing concern for the needs of feelings of other people

Gertrude Stein was right right right.

Repeating things makes them matter more. We mail to people multiple times asking them for donations. It is considered perfectly normal to mail an appeal and then "follow-up" a few weeks later. We may even ask for second or third gifts from our donors all in the same year. We subscribe to an "Asking" repeating model. But what about thanking donors?

When it comes to thanking donors for most organization's once per gift is enough - but is once enough? We have to provide every donor with an official letter noting the date and amount of their donation. Could we be doing more? I say yes, we ought to thank, thank, thank our donors. I subscribe to a "thanking repeating" model.

How does this work? Simple, I find every opportunity I can to thank donors before they make or renew their gift. Acknowledging previous contributions in solicitation letters, in an official thank you receipt letter and once a year in a general thank you that does not have an ask are all ways to thank your donors more than once.

I have even seen people use their social media to thank donors in mass. Social media posts do not have the same effect as a personal letter, but the post will let others know that you have donors and that you appreciate them.

Though it can be time-consuming, I try and write a handwritten note to every donor over a particular giving amount each year. If you write one or two a day, it makes it less of a burden. In fact, you can even get a volunteer to write a few letters from their perspective. The important thing is to thank, thank, thank your donors. Then you thoughtfully, follow a "thanking repeating" model.

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