Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas doesn't end in December

Just a quick posting this morning before I shut the laptop down and start to unwind for a few days.

Whichever part of the world you are I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing holiday break.

But please, all you fundraisers out there, remember the message from my earlier posting on Christmas appeal tips. Your Christmas (end of year/seasonal) appeal doesn’t end in December.

It ends when you fully acknowledge and thank your donors, and just as importantly feedback to them about the impact of their gift on your beneficiaries:

Four tips when writing your thank you letter:

1. Don’t default to using the same thank you letter you used last year, which was the one you used the year before that and so on..

2. Thank, thank and thank again. An easy mantra to live and breathe by. Make sure the words thank you are in the letter. Remember, the letter is about your donor and your beneficiaries, not your organization.

3. Continue the story from the appeal/letter/solicitation the donor responded to in the first place. You shouldn’t be a disjointed organization, the journey for your donors should be seamless and continuing. If you (and I hope you did) talked about a real, human story/case study in your appeal letter than give your donors an update on what’s happened since you last wrote or spoke to them.

4. Give them hope that their support is making a real difference. But let them know their support will be needed this year as much, if not more than ever.

I hope that helps as you begin to think about feeding back on how your donors have helped you. Most importantly don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of making your thank you a dull, generic and bland communication. Stand out from crowd and thank genuinely.

Oh, and remember, a letter should be as long as it needs to be…

Enjoy your break.


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