The Devil (and Second Gift) is in the Details
Also included across the top of the letter is the slogan and three primary ministry initiatives. Under the masthead is the donor’s gift history, which includes “amount of last gift,” “date given” and the “year-to-date total.”
Beyond the standard copy and branding elements is the letter’s functionality. The bottom third is a detachable reply card, and donors are encouraged (ever so gently) to return it with a new gift.
The purpose of the back of the letter (no white space!) is to encourage regular donors to join the monthly partners program. Donors who are interested can sign up using checking/savings or credit card drafts.
All fairly straightforward, but we wondered how we might better employ this touch point to raise more money and connect more personally with our donors. We thought about how for-profit businesses interact with their customers, and the answer was clear: on the customer’s own terms. Customers are asked if they would like to receive e-specials, coupons, information from like-minded businesses, etc. The information they provide dictates the terms of the relationship, which are settled right up front at the very beginning of the relationship.
So why not ask first-time givers how they want to be communicated with, right up front? Not only did we do that, but we even blew the dust off of the organization’s Donor Bill of Rights and enclosed a copy of it, as well.
But the key was the letter copy. It asked, “Can we call you? Would you like to receive a receipt letter after each donation? Do you want to receive our monthly letter? Would you like to receive the magazine? Would you like to become a monthly donor? Please let me hear from you today.”
On the bottom third of the letter, containing the return reply card, are tiny boxes for the donors to check indicating their preferences, enabling them to dictate to the organization the terms of the relationship.