It doesn't take much to include personal touches in a thank you letter template. You could mention the last gift they gave (date and/or amount), or the first time they gave, or the amount of support they've provided over the years. Different situations may call for different letter templates, and different groups of donors, but it's all possible in FundRaiser. And while you are thanking them, let them know what their contribution has done. What has your organization done since their last gift? How many people (or animals, or communities, or ??) has the organization helped in that time? This takes a bit of planning, so that you might have, for instance, a group of donors who have given, but not in the past 2 years, and another group who have given in the past 2 years, but not the past 6 months, and maybe another group who gave for the first time in the past 6 months, etc. You'll want different messages depending on the situation, but it's not that difficult to do, and the results will be a more personal approach to that "ask" for additional donations.
Many non-profits are vying for the same donor dollars, and showing appreciation for past donations is important in ALL interactions with your donors. If you are sending an invitation to an event, THANK them for their previous gifts. If you are sending a newsletter, THANK them for their ongoing support. If you have a special funding need and are sending an appeal, THANK them in advance for their consideration and for sharing your needs with their friends, family, etc., but THANK THEM.
The most important revenue resource for the vast majority of non-profit organizations is the individual donor. Statistics show that individuals give much more than can be realized through grant and corporate donations. And one of the most important aspects of individual donor development is to THANK your donors. It is as important as ASKING for donations. You'll rarely get donations you don't ask for, as most consultants will tell you, but once you get that first donation, you have to acknowledge it in order to receive repeat donations from the individual. So make sure that your daily routine includes the process of sending thanks to the days' donors. Nothing can damage your relationship with a donor more quickly than a lack of response to their donations. Automated Correspondence in FundRaiser helps make it easy to print or email those responses in a way that, while efficient, can also be personalized.
Speaking of thanks, we, here at FundRaiser, thank all of our users for the contributions they have made toward making our software among the easiest, most affordable, donor management packages available on the market today. We appreciate, and listen to, all of the input we've received over the years, and have used that input to make ongoing improvements. Thanks, too, for telling your friends and counterparts in other non-profits about us. We appreciate you.
This article revised from the original written by Larry Weaver, 2013.
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