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Fundraising Tip: The automatic thank you email does not count

Give your donor a personal thank you.

I was super excited to make a donation. I had learned about your work, your mission and your impact, and the more I learned the more excited I got. Finally I took the time to go to your website and make my first donation. As I hit “submit”, I was thrilled to be a part of you.

The automatic thank you email I received was great. I didn’t know the name of the executive director, and I learned a couple of other interesting impact facts.

Being in the nonprofit fundraising world, I know that an online donation may only end up in front of one person. Some organizations have a great system down in ensuring that online donors are met with the same passion and gratitude as other donors, and I can tell. In this case, I had forgotten that we never received a thank you note until I received an email asking for another donation.

Your mission is so incredibly important to us, especially at this moment in time, that I didn’t think too much about it. I know you have probably been inundated with donations, and perhaps decided to only send the auto-response as a thank you/tax letter.

I will donate again. And I want you to know that I will give more if you at least acknowledge that a human being on your team knows that we donated, and that someone is happy that your organization has a new donor. Even if we are only one of a hundred that day.

For an organization that is in the spotlight and is receiving an unprecedented amount of donations, there will be a period of time to settle in. Take the time. Keep your eyes on the prizes; your mission and impact. At some point, make the time to thank your donors and build relationships with them. I promise it will pay off in a major way.

If you enjoyed this post, check out this one on building relationships with your program teams:

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.

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