Do you follow @DennisFischman on Twitter? If so, I’ve thanked you–I hope. (Did I forget? I apologize!)
But if you’re a nonprofit and you forget to say thank you, then you owe an apology to your donor and to yourself.
How I forgot to say thanks
Whenever anybody follows me on Twitter, I make a point of saying thanks.
I don’t always follow back. That depends on what you usually tweet about and whether it’s interesting to me. But I do say “thanks”–because, out of the gazillion people on the web, you chose to spend some attention on me.
So how could I ever forget to say thanks?
Sarah Gallo, who’s on Twitter as @5foottraveler, followed me one Sunday. I wanted to tweet back at her, “TY to @5foottraveler for following!” I copied and pasted her Twitter handle and added the “for following” part, and I was just about to schedule the tweet when I noticed something was missing.
That’s right. The “TY” part.
Fortunately, I caught it in time. But because I even came close to leaving out the thanks, I want to say to Sarah publicly, “Thanks, and safe travels!”
Nonprofits, Don’t Forget to Thank Donors
At your nonprofit, when you acknowledge donations, are you making the same mistake as I did? Are you leaving out the actual thanks?
You could be, if:
- Your letter reads like a tax receipt instead of a personal note.
- You’re talking about what a great organization you are, instead of what great things the donor’s gift is going to accomplish.
- You’re congratulating the donor on helping you achieve your mission, instead of showing how you are going to help the donor realize his or her goals.
- When you receive an online gift, you send out an auto-response but never follow it up with an individualized letter or email.
- You send out the ideal thank-you letter but then don’t communicate again with the donor until it’s time to ask again for money.
Donor love means never having to say you’re sorry. Don’t forget to thank your donors in a way that’s clear, timely, ample, honest, and ongoing. You won’t regret it.
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