Tag: annual giving

And that, folks, is how it’s done

Last night, I received an email from the Canadian Red Cross with the subject line:

An important update on your donation

I was dreading what I would find inside.  Not because I thought there would be some kind of awful update.  Or that I expect terribly poor communications from Red Cross.  It’s just my Pavlovian response to a lot of terrible ‘updates on my donations’ from so many charities.

Well, there was no reason for my click-cringe.

I had just received a very nice, succinct, personal and even a bit emotive email from the incredibly impressive Conrad Sauvé, President & CEO of the Canadian Red Cross.  It arrived a week after I made my donation online, which is fantastic, especially given the enormous pressure the entire Canadian Red Cross staff is under, dealing with the Fort McMurray fire and subsequent disaster response.

The beginning of the closing line was especially awesome: “From the bottom of my heart, I thank you…”

If you’re looking for a great template for an easy update for your donors after an important event, or even (knock-on-wood, it’s unnecessary) an emergency, click here to see this excellent example of donor communications.

Now, because, I’m me, I just can’t help but suggest 2 small improvements as you file it away for your template.  First, personalize the email with the donor name.  Second, offer just a little more information about the scope of Canadian support.

Of course, easy for me to comment from the comfort of my office chair, with the luxury of not having to attend to the incredible workload that the dedicated Red Cross staff and volunteers are currently faced with.

Do you have any comments or ideas on spectacular donor communications?  Share them here, or you can Email or call David (toll-free in North America on 1-800-991-3318 x101 or on our New Zealand freephone 0800 995 054)

One Person’s Junk…

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

A few weeks back I had coffee with a former client.  She’s a great fundraiser that has a knack for connecting donors with their passions.

She’s one of my favourite people. Not the least because she always has a great story to share. This Friday morning coffee was no exception.

We only had a few minutes together before I had to head off to my next visit on my whirlwind trip through the Canadian prairies.  Once we caught each other up on some of the more mundane stuff, Cynthia* excitedly launched into a story about a donor.

She had gone to visit an elderly fella who had just moved into a long-term care facility.  He had just made a very significant gift of $50,000…in response to a direct mail letter.

He’s a loyal donor, giving for more than 10 years, but always less than $1000!  But if you can believe it, this is not my favourite part of the story.

The part that really got me sporting a wide smile happened when Cynthia went to visit the donor.

This gentleman had just gone through his over 80-years worth of accumulated possessions, leaving behind almost everything so he could squeeze into his very small long-term care quarters.

He had settled in by the time Cynthia arrived. She noticed that in the sparsely furnished and tidy small space he had brought only a few personal items.  But over in a neat stack on his little desk, was every single letter her charity had mailed him.

Of course I was happy to learn that many in that neat stack were packages my team and I had created.

But much more important is the perfect evidence about how critically meaningful good donor communications can be for those who receive it.

That put a wide goofy grin on my face for the rest of my whirlwind trip.

[*I’ve changed Cynthia’s name to respect her request for anonymity.]

 

Would you like to make your donors cherish every communication from your organisation?  The Common Good can help.  Email or call David (toll-free in North America on 1-800-991-3318 x101 or on our New Zealand freephone 0800 995 054) today for free, no obligation advice.

Are you treating your Monthly Donors like cherished family members?

Brandi Ibrao

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly donors (aka regular givers) are incredibly valuable to your charity, so it’s critical to roll out the welcome mat and make them feel like cherished members of your family.  That starts with exceptional stewardship right from the beginning of the relationship.

Stewardship starts by having a rock-solid gift-fulfillment process.  By managing this pivotal detail, you show from day one that you care about the donor’s gift and are trustworthy and well-organised.

Next you should do everything in your power to make sure the donor is thanked as soon as possible, and in the most personal way.  A thank you telephone call within 48 hours of the gift is the gold standard.  It’s also a fantastic way to verify donor details.  (But this call shouldn’t replace a written thank you…you literally cannot say thank you too much or too often).

Then, within a week, send an emotionally engaging and personal New Donor Welcome Package (NDWP) by post (even for online donors).  While you should have an NDWP for all of your new donors, make sure the package for your monthly donors is a little more special.  You can start simply by investing time in a live signature and a handwritten note.

Finally, send an email follow-up a week or so after the first gift has been processed so you can check-in with your new monthly donor.  Ask them if they’ve received the NDWP and have any questions.  You’ll reinforce that you genuinely care and it’s also a nice way to lead them into your monthly donor communications schedule for the balance of the year.

The ultimate goal for your welcome process is to make your new donor feel like they’ve made a good investment with their commitment to a monthly gift for your organisation. 

Do you want to start or grow your monthly donor program?  The Common Good can help.  Email or call David (toll-free in North America on 1-800-991-3318 x101 or on our New Zealand freephone 0800 995 054) today for free, no obligation advice.