The Power of a Thank-You (and Multichannel Communications)
A few weeks ago, I made a small donation — $25 — to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital through a friend's CrossFit for Hope fundraising challenge. It was a small token to support a friend and a great cause.
I made the donation via my friend's personal online fundraising page, standard practice in peer-to-peer fundraising these days. Almost instantaneously, I receive an automated e-mail acknowledgment from St. Jude thanking me for "helping the children of St. Jude." It was a short, quick e-mail and receipt.
While that is certainly a nice touch and standard best practice for online giving, I didn't think much about it, to be perfectly honest. I made a one-time gift to St. Jude to support both a friend and a good cause. I am not a recurring giver to the hospital and am not exactly residing in the prime demographic of donors.
After a few days, I actually — I'm embarrassed to say — kind of forgot what charity I had donated to. My gift was mostly prompted by a friend's request in a fitness challenge she was embarking on. But just last week, I was reminded that I had donated to St. Jude in an unexpected way: I received a thank-you direct-mail piece.
The outer envelope was a simple white envelope with St. Jude's logo and the words "Thank you!" printed in blue ink next to the address window. Inside was a small letter attached to a reply device, as well as a booklet of stickers and a "Happy Father's Day!" insert that discussed the story of 2-year-old Blake. Blake was born with Down syndrome and recently was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. The insert described how St. Jude has helped him spend another Father's Day with his dad followed by a short note from David, Blake's father, wishing me a happy Father's Day.