But how do you know what to call them? Last week, I suggested that the simplest and most effective way to get the names right is just to ask.
You could ask online donors immediately, on the post-donation page of your website that thanks them for their donations.
Keshet, the organization for LGBTQ equality in Jewish life, found another good way to ask which names to use. They checked how my wife and I would like to be listed in their annual report. Here’s the email:
Action Requested: How should we list you in our Annual Report?
Thank you for being a supporter of our work for LGBTQ equality in Jewish life. In the next few months, we will be sharing Keshet’s 2019 Annual Report.
As a valued and appreciated donor, your name(s) will be listed in our Annual Report and will appear as: Dennis and Rona Fischman.
If you would like to request an edit or correction in how your name is listed, please click here.
Chief Development and Communications Officer
Notice how many things Keshet did right!
- The subject line told the donors why we should open the message–why it mattered to us.
- The name in the salutation matched the name in the email address.
- The closing was in Hebrew (“for peace”), affirming the Jewish connection.
- The signature included the name of a real person plus preferred pronouns–useful for all, but particularly important to the LGBTQ+ community.
Most important, however, was that Keshet asked what we wanted to be called. They saw the way the names were listed on the check we’d sent them, but they didn’t assume that was exactly how we wanted our names to appear.
They asked. You should too.
Because donors’ names matter to them. So, their names should matter to you too–especially when you are asking them for money!