Say Thank You To The Nice People

Didn’t thank your donors?

Shame on you!

Fundraising Success brings you 10 tips, so when you do thank them you’ll do it the right way.
Here’s a summary.

 * Open with an engaging lead. Starting with “thank you†or “on behalf of†is predictable; avoid it. Like a good fundraising appeal, the goal is to draw your reader in.

·  Beware the second paragraph pitfall. Paragraph No. 2 is where nonprofits often drift into “we-speak.†We did this, our programs do that. Rephrase it. Remember, a thank you is all about “you†— and that means your donor.

·  Focus on benefits. It’s not about the $200,000 machine you just bought, or the $5 million you spend on research, it’s about hope for the future … saving lives … restoring dreams for tomorrow. Benefits rule.

·  Include a contact. Give donors a real, live person to contact, instead of the ubiquitous

·  Mention updates. Let donors know when they can expect a progress report — a quarterly newsletter, president’s letter, etc. Then follow through.

·  Avoid design tricks. A thank-you letter is a one-to-one correspondence. You wouldn’t use boldface and italics and bullets in a personal letter, so don’t do it in your thank you.

·  Write for readability. And that means … a serif font for print, sans serif for e-mails. Short paragraphs. Avoid fancy words. Translate jargon.

·  Consider your signor. A thank you should come from the top. Think CEO, president, etc. (Exceptions: you know the donor personally, or there’s a good case for another signor — e.g., special appeal.)

·  Stay positive. This is not the place for doom and gloom. Strive to show donors all the good things their gifts are accomplishing.

·  Cross channels. A postscript is a great spot to direct donor to your Web site — a new resource available there, videos, updates, etc.

Thanks for reading to the end of this blog.