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Thanks Mr. Banks

Thank you!

Thank you for reading this email.

I just wanted to take a moment to say that to you.

Why? Two reasons.

Firstly, because I genuinely appreciate your readership.

Secondly, because you might find that my thank-you will help you relate better to the message below…

A while back, I did an experiment. I donated to 12 online matching campaigns. Then, I tracked how each organization communicated with me.

Why? Because I wanted to see what their thanking processes looked like.

A little background: good thanking habits have been proven time and again to increase donors’ next gifts.

  • According to McConkey Johnson’s study, first-time donors who received a personal thank-you within 48 hours were four times more likely to give again.
  • Research by Goodworks found that giving a one-minute thankyou call to new donors increased the amount of second-time gifts by 30%.
  • The Agitator published data that found that when donors were called and thanked, their gift size for the next year increased by 72%!

Plain and simple - good, strong thank-you habits increase gifts. They make sure more donors give again, and they boost the size of those second-time donations.

Unfortunately, too many organizations don’t know this. And they’re losing precious support.

Back to my experiment:

Remember, I’d given to 12 campaigns.

Other than the robotic thank-you on top of the electronic receipts, only three organizations sent me as much as a proper thank-you email.

The next time I heard from the other nine was - you guessed it - the next time they wanted my money.


There’s no doubt in my mind that these fine organizations had hakaras hatov for my gifts.

The problem was that they didn’t have the knowledge, time, or manpower to put a thanking system in place.

There’s also no doubt in my mind that their lack of thanking system cost them - and continues to cost them - significant support.

How can you avoid this mistake?

Here are some simple, doable tips for creating a healthy “thanking protocol":

1. Sort By Size

Let’s say you anticipate about 800 donors to your campaign.

Categorize them into three groups by gift size.

For example:

“Large donors” = $1000+

“Medium donors” = $180-$1000

“Small donors” = <$180

2. Make a How-To Plan

Decide HOW you want to thank each category.

From looking at the research I quoted above, you might notice two major rules for effective thanking.

Rule #1 - Do it FAST. Never wait longer than 48 hours.


Rule #2 - Make it PERSONAL. The more personally you thank a giver, the more likely they are to give again.

So - putting our two tips (and two rules) together, here’s an example of a smart post-campaign “thanking protocol:”

  • Your “Large donors” get a personal call/whatsapp/text/email as soon as they make their donation.
  • They also get a follow-up call from you within 24 hours,
  • And a real-live paper thank-you note in the mail a week later.
  • Your “Medium donors” get a personal thank-you email within 48 hours,
  • And a thank-you call within 10 days.
  • Your “Small donors” get a thank-you email within 48 hours.

Each and every donor will now feel sufficiently appreciated. They’ll be touched that you thought to thank them and that you put effort into doing so. And they’ll feel more connected to you (didn’t you, when I thanked you earlier?).

Which means that more of them will give again. And more of those gifts will be larger than ever.

What will YOUR next campaign “thanking protocol” look like?


© 2024 Avraham Lewis & Co.