When you’re thinking about planning for the 4th quarter—and all the things that go into those months—thank you letters may seem like a tiny thing to bring up.
They’re often forgotten about. All our attention is focused on getting the gift. Then, it can be easy to have the attention go to getting the second gift, and then the next…
So…when did you last look at your thank you letters?
Thank you letters are a chance to help deepen your relationship with your donors. They just gave a gift, so they’re leaning in to you and your mission, and they’re a great opportunity to cement the relationship not being only about giving.
And, they can even be a chance to ask for a second gift (if done well).
So, before the 4th quarter gets crazy busy, take a moment to review the thank you letters your organization is using.
Here are a couple of things to ask yourself:
- Is your organization sending out a generic thank you letter? Or are you sending out letters specific to every appeal or newsletter?
It may seem like a minor thing, but having the thank you letter specific for your campaigns, appeals, newsletters, etc. does matter. It helps you be specific in telling the donor what their impact is. If you tell a story in the appeal, mention that person in the thank you note. Making it specific lets the donor know they are getting a sincere note, not just an automatic reply.
- Are you thanking or validating in your thank you letters? We’ve talked about this before, but here it is again: thank you letters aren’t about saying “thank you.”
Thank you letters are a chance to validate the donor’s decision to give to your organization. It’s a chance to build on the relationship so they give again and stay a part of your organization.