Are You Sending Receipts Instead of Thanks – What About Impact?

I see this one a lot.  The letter, if there is one, usually starts with “with our appreciation, please find our charitable receipt.”

Truly an opportunity not to be missed, the way we thank donors, even in the smallest organizations, is a gift in itself. I recently received a donation receipt along with a copy of an impersonal newsletter for a donation that I made ten months earlier.  I had actually forgotten about the donation and the organization.

Even if you only have a few hundred donors, it makes a big difference to provide a meaningful, genuine letter or card out to donors that tells a story of the impact you are having. People want to see how their gift is making a difference. Tell your donor how they are part of the solution through their support. How they are heroes. Stories should not be about the organization itself, but tailored to the audience to make them as personal and meaningful as possible.

Some other suggestions: hand-write thank you notes (a great Board member activity). And telephone them (another great Board member activity). Donors will feel a greater connection to your organization through this personal touch.

Keep the tax receipt mention at the end of the letter. There’s no excuse for not thanking donors well.

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