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Observe the "Niceties"

Can you still hear your parents’ words ringing in your ears all these years later? I can. Say, “Please.” Don’t forget to say “Thank you!” My parents drilled these words into me as soon as I was old enough to say them. I’m betting it was the same for most of you too.

As a fundraiser, you probably are great at saying “please.” Just don’t forget about the “thank you” part because “thank you” happens to be the 2 most important words you can say in the wonderful world of fundraising.

Here’s why:

  1. Recognizing donors for their generosity can only further strengthen your relationship with them. “Thank you” makes donors feel appreciated and confident they made a good decision to support your organization.

  2. Acknowledging the gift you received increases your chances of receiving additional gifts from supporters in the future.

  3. By thanking donors for their gifts, you can make them aware how your organization will use their gifts and assure them that you are using them efficiently.

  4. When you fail to say “thank you,” you run the very real risk of losing donors.

Quick tips for “thank you”:

  • Be timely…24-48 hours after receiving the gift is the norm.

  • Be sincere and personalize your thank you. Mention the amount in your response.

  • Relate your thanks to the appeal your donor supported. If the gift came as a result of a newsletter appeal, mention the newsletter.

  • If possible, use a live signature and a brief, hand-written letter of thanks signed by the CEO or president.

  • If you have email addresses, use them for a multi-channel approach.

  • Provide donors with further opportunities for engagement with your organization. Make them aware of upcoming events or volunteer opportunities.

  • For larger gifts, ($250+), the CEO or president should consider making a “thank you” phone call to the donor.

Remember, saying “Please” will bring in initial gifts, but saying “Thank You” will help ensure more gifts later on.

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