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(I liked yours -) Thank you for sending this!

Donor update emails. They can feel like a chore - but they can also create magical results.


A while back, Reb Danny Wolfe, founder of Denver’s JewPro organization, sent an update email to his donors.

The email was around 400 words and took less than an hour to write. And it wins a gold medal for excellence in donor communications.

Why? Because several donors actually responded thanking HIM for sending it!

“Danny, thank you for sharing this with me. I LOVE what you’re doing!! You and your team are the ones who deserve the thank you for this!

With gratitude, Barry.”

That was just one of the many thank-you replies that rolled in after Reb Danny sent his update.

If 5% of your list responds, you’re doing great - because, most likely the other 95% share the same feelings as the 5%. Reb Danny really scored with this one. How?

He told a donor-centric story.

Let’s break that down.

Reb Danny didn’t just list facts and tack on a thank you. He made the update into a story.

And then he made sure to put his donors at the center of the story.

Instead of framing the good stuff happening as his organization’s success, he framed it as his donors’ success. It wasn’t “We did xyz,” it was “You made xyz happen.”

That’s called being donor-centric.

Because your donors don’t just want to know their money is being put to good use. They also want you to …

“Explain how, because of my support, you were able to make a difference.”

“Confirm I made the right decision by supporting you.”

“Make me feel I’m part of something greater than myself.”

“Know my values, and show me you’re putting them into action.”

“Make me feel appreciated for what I’ve helped you do.”

How do you accomplish all this in your communications?

You start with a perspective-shift.

Sure, you did the legwork. But without your donor’s support, none of your accomplishments would have happened. Their funds made everything you’ve achieved possible.

With this mindset in place, start writing. Don’t worry if you’re not a good writer. Just get started.

As you write, make it about the donors. Like Reb Danny (see his email here), use the words “you” and “your” more than “I,” “we,” and “our.”

Do your best to answer those questions we listed above. If you succeed, you’ll be turning your donors into happy, grateful partners who want to become givers for life.

Hatzlacha Raba!


 © Avraham Lewis & Co.