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Great idea for thanking your donors
31 March 2009, by , in Data Management, 1 comment

I recently made a donation to NTEN’s scholarship fund for their annual meeting (NTC, which I wrote about here.) NTEN was shooting to raise $10,000, which would then be matched by Convio, giving NTEN a total of $20,000 to use as scholarships for NTC.

The good news is that NTEN reached their goal. As a result of my donation (and all the others, of course) NTEN will be able to send 58 people to the NTC on scholarship.

As a thanks for my donation, I received in the mail an NTEN mug and thank you card. Not being a coffee drinker, the mug made me shrug. But the note got my attention, not just because it was handwritten (which I love), but because of what it said: that because of my donation (and others), some 58 people would get to attend the NTC. That made me feel good.

And then it struck me. You know what would really make me feel good? To receive a handwritten thank you note from any of the scholarship recipients, saying thank you for the scholarship, and giving me a line or two about what value they got from NTC. That would be pretty impressive.

And guess what NTEN plans to do? Exactly that. Holly Ross, NTEN’s executive director (who blogs at NTEN’s blog) tells me she’ll be giving the scholarship recipients the names and/or organization names of the donors and asking them to send her as many thank you notes as they want to write. Holly will then forward them to the donors.

What a great idea! If I receive just one handwritten note thanking me for the donation and telling me how their attendance at NTC helped them, I’ll be happy as a clam.

What about your organization? What interesting and unique ways have you found to thank your donors?

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1 Comment on "Great idea for thanking your donors"

Pedram Farsaii - 7 April 2009 Reply

Wes: Great post. I think some of the best ways to retain members and keep them "coming back for more," to use a cliche, can come from the simplest forms of marketing and member realtionship management -- just like sending out a personalized thank you card or gift. Often times, it's the little things that go the furthest and are the most overlooked. Afterall, just like you said, who doesn't enjoy a little pat on the back now and then for doing something good!

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