Gobble, Gobble: Grateful for Sustainers
First of all, I’d like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’ll have a chance to relax a bit in between traveling, cooking, eating, cleaning and eating some more.
Followed, of course, by Black Friday—or in my case, Anniversary Sunday (12 years ago my husband and I got married on the 26th )— Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday…
I’m one of those people who refuses to go shopping on Black Friday. Instead, that’s the day I sit behind my computer and make donations to the organizations I care about.
I’ll make single gifts to most and new monthly gifts to some. The good news is that the list is growing!
I’m already a sustainer to a substantial number of organizations, and this is when I might make an extra gift. This is the time when I evaluate how organizations treated me during the past year. In other words, how grateful is your organization to sustainers like me, really?
The solution to grow the number of faithful sustainers for your organization is simple really.
Make sure that you send a thank-you letter for this extra gift as soon as possible, and make sure you recognize me as a sustainer. Believe me, this will keep more grateful sustainers in future!
I hope the results of this year’s donations exercise are better than they were last year. I received thank-you notes in February! Not very grateful now, is it?
So, the pressure is on: How many organizations will send me a thank-you letter, and how soon? I realize you’re busy, so please do me a favor. Send that thank-you letter out right away. Then, if my gift was a single gift, in January, follow-up with another thank-you letter asking me to give monthly. It costs virtually nothing, you’ve got me when I’m still “hot” and in good cheer from the holidays and you generate more sustainers to start the year off right.
And in the next few days, just think about the things you’re grateful for.
For me personally, that’s a lot: A wonderful husband, two great stepsons, two grandkids (and a third on the way) and my health (I lost 16 pounds by eating healthier and exercising more). And professionally, it is my pleasure to write this blog every week and help promote sustainers and monthly donors. The number of grateful sustainers is growing. So, thank you for all you do! And Happy Thanksgiving!
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.