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The knowledge in acknowledgements

Hello, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Lynnette Doherty and I am the new Marketing Manager for Rescigno’s Fundraising Professionals.

As a former Development Manager of a nonprofit, I understand the daily struggles of fundraising and the importance of cultivating and building relationships with donors. Communication is key! Although this may be an overused phrase, its significance, especially in the nonprofit world, is abundant. This is especially true when it comes to thanking donors.

When you think about it, saying thank you is the first step to getting the next gift.

Acknowledgements go beyond a grateful “thank you.” Detailing how a donor’s gift made an impact with specific examples can feel much more tangible and real to them. Also, communicate the difference that each donor makes not only to the organization’s beneficiaries, but to the organization itself. Clearly state how a donor’s contribution is being utilized at the organization and what has been accomplished with that donation.

Use your available data and personalize your letters. Maybe re-evaluate your current acknowledgements and work to improve them by customizing according to each donor if you don’t already do that. Rescigno’s Fundraising Professionals can partner with you to make this process an excellent means of retaining your donors. Those who feel appreciated and happy will become loyal supporters.

Here is an example of the effectiveness of implementing an acknowledgement program. After a change in the development office and a serious lapse in the acknowledgement process, the organization I was with needed to re-engage its constituents. For example, a volunteer that dedicated her talent and service every week for several years had gone unrecognized for her contributions to the organization for a significant amount of time. However, once the acknowledgement program was implemented, she was informed of the significance her generosity had made through the creation of a Diabetes Prevention Program for uninsured individuals.

Soon this volunteer would stop by my desk to chat. She would also email me inquiring about upcoming fundraising events and, as a development manager, I welcomed that involvement. I invited her to attend some of our fundraising committee meetings as well, which she really appreciated. Soon afterwards, she began to make more monetary donations, as well as increasing her volunteer hours with the organization. She also encouraged her friends to donate to the organization and always brought a group of people to the events. In fact, she has now included that nonprofit in a Planned Giving Program too. This volunteer/donor now feels empowered by knowing the impact she has and continues to make on the organization. The moral of this story is to maintain effective communication with your donors, so they know their worth and feel appreciated as a partner in the same mission.

A common mistake that nonprofits sometimes make is failing to properly thank and involve donors. However, a thorough, precise, and personalized acknowledgement program can avoid that completely. Establishing and adhering to an acknowledgement program is crucial for every nonprofit. One seemingly simple letter can ultimately lead to thousands of dollars in donations!

As a fundraising professional, you’re stretched thin these days. Rescigno’s can streamline the acknowledgement process for you.


Stacey Mallo – Director of Business Development

(708) 974-2600 x101

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