Two little words that are probably the most important in the whole arsenal of tools, techniques and tips available to fundraisers. If anyone gives you support – no matter how small – say thank you. Don’t leave it months until you finally mail out a response to their gift, don’t add them to a mailing list for a future event as a thank you. Get the gift, add their details to your database and send out a thank you letter as soon as possible.
Of course, you may not have the resources to write tailored, individual thank you letters to every donor you have – particularly if you have a large number – but you should at least endeavour to make it look like it’s a tailored response. Use their name, spell it properly, get their address right, make sure you know how much they gave and to what. Don’t write ‘Dear Friend’/’Dear Supporter’, don’t ask them for another gift in their thank you letter, don’t leave it too long to send it.
SOFII (Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration) runs a thank you letter clinic which is well worth a look if you need some ideas – and you can even submit your own letters to receive comments back and help you make sure you are thanking people in the best way possible. It is, after all, the way that you will encourage people to continue to support you and perhaps give more – and it’s always easier to raise further gifts from existing or previous donors than it is to win a new donor in the first place.
Thank you, by the way, for reading this post!