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Secret Shoppers in Philanthropy

March 13, 2013

THANKDONORSWhat’s that you say, Kivi Leroux Miller? “Donors want something quite simple: a prompt, meaningful thank you letter and additional communication that explains how the donation was used. That’s it. Eighty percent of donors say that would convince them to make the second gift.”

Kivi is right, the Queen of Philanthropy is Gratitude. She blogs about nonprofit marketing on Nonprofit Marketing Guide and has visited our community once before for a workshop with nonprofits. (Don’t miss her post “Nine Clever Ways to Thank Your Donors.”)

In our recent survey to nonprofit participants in the 36-Hour Giving Challenge, MANY organizations are indicating that staff/board sent thank you e-mails either during the Challenge itself or in the following days.

Here’s some of the intelligence that has come my way:

  • I personally donated to eight organizations and received a speedy thank you from six organizations. One nonprofit sent me a “bulk” thank you focused on its overall place on the Leaderboard (which I wasn’t interested in as a donor) instead of concentrating on how my gift would make a difference. The other notes were heartfelt and lovely. One of them even sent a thank you video.
  • One donor who gave to ten organizations on Tuesday morning instant messaged me on Facebook Wednesday mid-morning to let me know she had only heard from one of them.
  • An aunt in North Carolina gave during the Challenge to support me. Within 24 hours, she received two lovely acknowledgements from the organization she supported and texted me to let me know how meaningful it was to her.
  • My parents donated to two organizations they have never supported in the past. One of them sent a very personal thank you within hours of the online donation. The other has not thanked them.
  • A leader of a local foundation who personally donated to quite a few organizations was surprised not to have received an acknowledgement from most of them as of this Tuesday afternoon, but delighted to have received both email and US Mail thanks from some.

The time is right to make your donors feel really good about supporting you in the Challenge.

Many organizations are doing this well, and they are the ones who will stay close to the hearts of their donors.

There is nothing fancy required–no money spent on premiums or flowers–just a genuine communication to convey the gratitude from your team and the clients you serve.

Let’s get keep those good vibes going out there.

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