Are you (really) thanking your donors?

At the end of this past year I made donations to four charitable organizations. While the donations were not the size of “name a building after me” donations, they were much larger than $20.

Three of the donations were made online via the org’s website; the fourth was delivered in person. With the online donations, I received an automatic email “thank you.”

Now, some three weeks after the donations were sent, I’ve received only two thank you notes. One was form letter; the second a very nice hand-written thank you card. (It was from Horton’s Kids, who deserve a shout-out not only for following up with a handwritten thank you, but for the wonderful work they do. I’ve written before about the power of a handwritten note.)

From the others I’ve not received any other acknowledgement, other than the initial thank you email. How hard would it be to run a printed form letter?

So why does any of this matter? Because if these groups want me to donate to them again in the future, they could at least demonstrate that they spent ANY time thinking about the donation I already gave them. More importantly, if they can’t even thank me for my donation, it makes me wonder how else they’re NOT spending my money wisely.

So ask yourself: How am I thanking my donors? And if your volunteers are donating their time, how are you thanking them? A little effort thanking them now could provide returns for years to come.

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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