“Your guys really have their stuff together.”
That was the opening line from my buddy when I walked into the local coffee shop last weekend. I had a little jet lag going so I responded with a completely blank “Huh?”
I finally managed “Who?”
“Your guys at <Unnamed Cause>. They are awesome.” My friend beamed (seriously beamed) and sipped his cappuccino.
Here’s the backstory. Hoots and I had taken our friends to a gala on the previous Saturday night. Who the gala benefited isn’t as important as the lesson, so I’ll hide who they are. And because you’d love to have my friend as a donor, I’ll hold back who he is as well.
The gala was our friends’ first exposure to one of our favorite causes. It was a moving night but my life being my life, I’d already forgotten about it 7 days later.
He rolled on (clearly on his second cup).
“Monday morning they had a great thank-you email and receipt to me. They’re awesome. Great follow up. Nobody does that.”
Once my caffeine hit my bloodstream I managed to get out something along the lines of “the best ones do.” But I’d missed the opportunity to say something insightful.
We moved on to catch up on life, but you might want to pause here just a second.
My buddy really is a guy you’d love to have as a donor. He is philanthropically minded. He supports causes. He has means. He’d be a big fish for anyone. He sees a ton of fundraising. He’s been to a bunch of galas. He sits at “that” table. He’s seen a lot of receipts and thank you pieces. He is not new to charitable giving. And yet he was impressed. He wasn’t impressed by Unnamed Cause’s flash or chrome. He was impressed by timing and accuracy.
There is a moment, and it has a frighteningly short half-life where a donor is feeling best about their gift to you. There’s some fascinating research describing people’s confidence following a financial decision — it’s highest the moment right after they make the transaction. And that glow, that confidence, declines rather quickly over time.
My sharp friends at the Unnamed Cause landed squarely in the sweet spot of that glow with my buddy. And they had names spelled right and his gift information correct. Plus I happen to know they sent a great gift validation piece.
How I am I sure about that? Well they are connected to me, so that stuff is important. And if Unnamed Cause had blown it (like spelling names incorrectly), he wouldn’t have beamed. No one beams when their name is misspelled.
What’s the lesson? Hit that sweet spot shortly after the gift. Please don’t let more than 48 hours pass. Please make it more than “the law requires” (or any other nonsense). Anybody can get a credit card email receipt out quickly. But will you get a validation of a gift out in the sweet spot? That’s the question.
Why is it important? My friend and I will have another conversation soon about Unnamed Cause. And because he was beaming about them, I think he’ll want to know more about what they are up to.
Simple as that. Hit that sweet spot with an accurate, timely, validation.
You can. Your cause is worth it. You’re changing the world. Oh, and you’ll be delighted you did. And most importantly, your donors will beam when they think of you.
What about you? What’s your story about hitting the sweet spot? What’s your struggle to make it happen? I love hearing how you’re doing.
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