If you would like to be sent a thank you, please tick this box
When did thank you become so difficult?
For years, the top 250 charities in the UK have been receiving over 90% of donations made, and yet donor attrition rates are holding steady between 15 and 35 per cent annually.
To combat this, they have developed more and more ways to say thank you, to create ‘touch points’ with their donors, to explain what £3 a month could do — but they should take the lead from some of their small charity cousins who, instead of a donor development strategy and a ‘contact chart’ simply respond back with a simple but heartfelt “THANK YOU so much for your donation, with it we can keep doing good work on your behalf.”
In a world where everything is digital, and the cost of online giving is far less than any other medium, it comes as no surprise that charities are promoting this more and more — but with automated rules and scripts that generate an automatic thank you on screen and follow with an automated thank you email. Where is the personal touch? Are we ready to hand over donor recognition to the auto-rule?
I was researching one the UK’s large NGO’s recently and found, to my horror, that if you donate offline (i.e. not through the internet CRM portal), they do not routinely say thank you. They even have a box on the accompanying form saying, “if you would like to be sent a thank you, please tick this box.” I partially understand why they do it. One is cost: with the price of a 2nd class stamp ever creeping up it is fast becoming an expensive way to acknowledge a gift; the other is to put control in the hands of the donor how much mail they receive from us in the future. The reality is that neither of these are acceptable reasons not to respond to an offline donation, particularly one who has taken the time to tell you who they are.
Small charities deal with smaller volumes of donations… fact. But, when it comes to recognising that donation, there are a few tips that we can all pick up on:
- Remember that a donor doesn’t care how big you are when they make a donation, they are doing it because they have been motivated to do so by something
- Respond to the donor using the medium they contact you with
- Remember that when forming your thank you, that is exactly what you should do: say THANK YOU
- Don’t automatically press print on a standard 3-page thank you letter outlining future investment, ROI’s and impact measurement
- Cards are better to do it on — it’s something that the donor can put on a mantelpiece and be proud of… and more importantly, they are 3 times more likely to share it with their friends than a letter.
Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.