Did you ever receive an email like this one?
“Please stop sending me thank you letters and emails. I can see through your tactics and it will hurt the donation I give to your organization next time. THANK YOU. Joey.”
Is it possible to thank your donors too often?
The answer is this:
Not when you’re thanking them the “right” way. So if someone complains, it’s likely that your communications lack creativity and don’t engage them.
When you reach out to donors to thank them it should be with genuine appreciation.
If a piece of communication makes donors feel great about their generosity… if donors learn something new about the impact that their donation has enabled… if the communication feels personal, like one human interacting with another… you are far, far, far less likely to receive any complaints.
In fact, you'll get your donors thanking you for thanking them!
What can you do to make your thank you letters something your donors will look forward to?
Here are three ways to improve your thank you letters.
Write casually, not formally.
If you repeat your organization’s mission statement in your thank you letter, it is not personal.
But, if you use your “everyday” vocabulary, your writing will feel genuine and authentic.
Remember, even if you are planning on mass-mailing a piece of communication, you want it to feel like it is from YOU to the donor, not from an organization to hundreds of people.
Take a couple of sentences in your thank you letter to paint a picture of the impact that has been created.
“Your donation helped fund programs like our recent meleve malkah. I wish you could have seen the room filled with Jewish Neshamos singing together, learning Torah together, holding on the kedusha of Shabbos for as long as possible. Your gift made this amazing scene possible.”
The more detail you provide, the better. Let donors experience the magic.
You may feel a natural impulse to talk about your organization.
You may feel tempted to write something like, “Because of you, we were able to accomodate 100 more people into our program.”
Notice how the emphasis is on the organization. Resist the urge. Give your donors all the credit and remove yourself from the story.
In the fundraising story, your donors are the heros. Make sure they know it.
When you can incorporate these lessons into your thank you letters, your donors will never complain and they will look forward to hearing from you.
B'Hatzlacha Raba Raba,