Maintaining a personal, consistent connection with donors is a key part of any long-term fundraising strategy. One of the most effective but often overlooked elements: the thank-you message.
You know you want to thank every donor. But do you think about how to write the message? Or when to send it?
The folks at Eleo software have a short, to-the-point post that provides excellent guidance.
Simply put, your replies should be prompt, personal, and real. (Eleo adds “warm and fuzzy” as a fourth category, but we believe that “personal” covers this pretty well.)
Some details on what the strategy entails:
Prompt: You urge, prod, and sometimes beg donors to meet your deadlines. Maybe it’s a year-end push, or a specific campaign that will net you matching donations. Their timely responses should be met with an equally timely thank-you message.
Personal: Donors make a conscious decision to join your cause. Make them feel appreciated as individuals. Use their first name, and include any information—location, life experiences, reasons they answered your call—that you have that helps the donor feel special.
Real: People donate to causes to help people (or animals)—not to support the organization itself. It might sound like semantics, but it’s an important part of recognizing what motivates a donor. So when you respond, do so as a person, not an organization. Be conversational, not corporate. Be humorous or even vulnerable, as appropriate.
Eleo takes a deeper dive on the thank-you note’s basics. Check it out here.