Thanking donors, personally, seems like a no-brainer. In many circles, for “lots of good reasons”, it isn’t actually done well. What kind of donor experience is that?
This is something that should create several stunning experiences for our donors.
Some very serious questions to ask are:
- How long does it take us to get a receipt/thank you out—really, not ideally?
- Is that thank you more than a tax document? Is there genuine gratitude expressed? Does the thank you move our donors?
- Are we inviting donors to ignore us by sending out the same boiler-plate information and thank you text for months, if not years?
- Does our online gift acknowledgement meet all IRS standards but fail to convey the thanks of a human being, not a machine?
- Is there anything we can do to make our donors look forward to getting our thank you? How can we surprise them?
- Do our receipts/thank you’s make it easy for a donor to give again without feeling heavy-handed?
- Have I ever asked a donor if he or she feels appreciated when the thank you arrives?
- Are we hurting retention in the name of saving the money receipting and thank you’s would cost?
If your donor appreciation program is lacking, don’t let another day go by without asking yourself if the money you are saving being mediocre at best is really a savings or a deterrent to more giving.
Michael Wilson is a Partner and Global Practice Leader for Fortium Partners. Fortium has over 40 partners. FORTIUM is dedicated to understanding and applying all things digital. A technology leadership services firm focused on providing world-class resources to clients with the most complex issues. FORTIUM serves nonprofit, public and private companies across a variety of industries, placing expert project teams and operational leadership resources in technology-related roles. FORTIUM resources usually have 25 or more years of experience, most recently in a senior leadership role.
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