Donor Retention: Stop Talking, Start Doing
Make your receipt letters/notes truly thankful. OK, that seems like a no-brainer, but are you really thanking me, the donor — or the masses of donors out there somewhere? Is it about me, or all about you? Here are some things I read in the opening sentences of receipts received in 2014:
- "We want to say thank you for the tremendous help we've received from our donors." (What about me?!!!)
- "We are excited that (name of organization) is now officially a part of the (parent organization) family! The 'new' (parent organization) includes … (What about me?!!!)
- "After a very cold, snowy winter, I am looking forward to the arrival of spring more than ever this year. It was very exciting to recently celebrate the dedication of the (building name)." (What about me?!!!)
Sure, call me narcissistic, but I gave you a donation so why isn't thanking me a priority? I'm glad you are doing so much, but where do I fit in? Did I really make a difference? Why do I get the impression that you've got it all covered and my gift was unnecessary?
So, back to my challenge. Look at your donation-receipting program top to bottom. What's working? What's a potential deterrent to donor retention? How can you fix it?
If you're convinced that improving your donation acknowledgement program matters to your organization's donor retention, send me an email at email@example.com. Tell me what you plan to focus on in 2015, and your current processing time for a gift (if known). The first ten people who contact me with this information and provide their organization's name will be added to my 2015 year-end giving list (sorry, I won't be a major donor) and this time next year, I hope to include your organization in an article about what went right in year-end receipting.