It’s Fridaaay! I’m Tammy Zonker bringing you Friday5 on ZTV. Friday5 is where I talk with you for 5 minutes or bring you 5 ideas, strategies, or tips for transforming your fundraising.
Today’s Friday5 features FIVE attributes of a great gift acknowledgment letter. Sincere letters that leave your donors feeling appreciated and knowing their gifts are truly making a difference. In my monthly Fundraising Transformers Community, we do a 90-minute webinar on the Fine Art of Thanking Donors. Check it out at tammyzonker.com/transformers
But for today, here are the Five Attributes of a Great Gift Letter:
Attribute #1. The gift acknowledgment letter includes a quote from a grateful client – someone whose life has been changed thanks to generous supporters. A grateful mom or dad. A student. A happy family who just gave an abandoned dog their forever home. Maybe a teacher whose 2nd-grade class just had a blast touring your museum.
Here’s an example of a grateful client quote, “I don’t know what’s ahead for our family, but I know we aren’t alone. We have The Children’s Center.” Tonya, Mother of three
Attribute #2 A warm and personal salutation. Using the donor’s first name (unless you know they prefer a more formal salutation such as Mr., Mrs. Dr., for example). If we are truly working to establish a close personal relationship with our donors, we should address them in a personal manner.
Attribute #3 Donor-centric. Brilliant Tom Ahern taught us well when he said the donor is the hero. Our gift acknowledgment letters should be about the donor – not about how great our organization is!
So, for every single time we use the words, “we, our, us, or the name of our organization) we should reference the donor at least 3 times. 3:1 words like you, your, and saying the donor’s name. Connecting the donor directly to the impact of their gift. For example:
“You are amazing. Your generosity is helping children heal, hope and dream again” versus “Your gift will help us heal children so they can dream again.”
Which brings me to attribute #4. Include impact statements in your gift acknowledgment letters. Let your amazing donors know the impact of their gifts. What difference will their generous gifts make in the lives of those served? Impact is easier to convey if the gift is restricted for a specific purpose, right?. But what if it’s an unrestricted operating gift?
Here’s an example of an impact statement for an unrestricted gift. “You turn trauma into triumph, fear into courage and despair into determination every single day” or “You are erasing the traces of trauma from the hearts and minds of our wounded warriors, like John.”
And last but not least, attribute #5. Your letters should be hand-signed, with a handwritten personal note or p.s. on every single letter. AND the gift acknowledgment letter should be mailed within 48 to 72 hours of gift receipt.
Those are the Five Attributes of a Great Gift Acknowledgment Letter. Letters that convey how incredible our donors are – and inspire them to give again and again.
If you liked this Friday5, make a comment below and share it. If you’d like to participate in LIVE training with me every single month – and get access to loads of tools and templates, join my Fundraising Transformers online community.
That’s it for Friday5 on ZTV. Have an awesome weekend!
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