Getting Your 46 Cents Worth
I don't know if it's brain overload, old age, too much reliance on the Internet, denial or just plain laziness, but I no longer pay attention to what the cost of a First Class postage stamp is. (After all, it's not like I can comparison shop.) The truth is, I did a quick Google search so I could title this article.
But whether you know the cost of postage or not, there are two realities. First, it's not cheap to mail a First Class letter. And second, First Class mailing is necessary from time to time. Take, for example, the humble receipt.
Some organizations choose to only mail receipts annually or for gifts over a certain predetermined threshold. Others mail receipts all year long. I am a firm believer that receipts have an important purpose in our fundraising strategy and should be mailed quickly after (almost) every donation. Here's why.
Receipts add credibility
"Donor remorse" is not a new concept. As fundraisers, we fight to eliminate, or at lease minimize, it. And one thing that can help us win that battle is a timely receipt.
A well-constructed receipt sends some very strong messages to the donor: We received your gift. We are very grateful for your gift. We invested your gift the way you asked us to. And your gift is hard at work making a difference in our mission.
Online receipts are most guilty (in my experience) of forgetting that they have to play an important PR role, not just acknowledge the donation. While I am not advocating a long e-mail to acknowledge an online gift, is the language you use warm, appreciative and descriptive, or is it perfunctory?
Receipts convey information
Here's where you can really get your 46 cents worth. You mail your receipts First Class, so you are paying for up to one ounce of weight. So pack your envelope with motivational messages.
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.