Don’t Write thank you letters

Yes. I am serious. 99% of thank you letters are boring. A thank you letter does not give the final outcome of the appeal you communicated.

A prompt thank you for a donation is meaningless. And often unwanted.

A later letter – an impact letter – with full outcomes from the appeal – is far better and multiplies donor satisfaction and engagement. And often a self-upgrade.

This brief blog has been triggered by donors (where the best ideas frequently  come from).

An unremitting stream of dissatisfaction is now expressed by donors. In recent weeks donors, when we have delved deep enough, complain:

it’s all very well giving a donation and getting a bog standard thank you letter, but I do not have a clue as to whether you reached your target or the effect my donation made” is one quote.

And before ask, this is even more effective if communicated by a telephone call which does NOT ask for money. Ask for another donation and the likely act is to reduce or cancel a direct debit or standing order. Today’s baby boomer donors are not thoughtless “give money” donors.

Nowadays they are fussy inquisitive investors – even if giving small or modest amounts – not casual donors. Trust in the sector, almost globally, is low. They need their trust (and confidence) nurtured to build their satisfaction.

A first donation is a “test to invest”.

Impact enables you to pass the test, A thank you fails.

What do you do to enhance the feeling of achievement which is communicated personally rather than through an annual report/impact report?

Richard has been meeting donors for 30 years. And WOW are they changing. Fascinating! Richard is Founder of Radcliffe Consulting


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