Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Little Thanks

The following is advice from Giftworks.  They have some wonderful ideas to help you better connect with your donors.

Posted: 06 Jun 2012 10:25 AM PDT
So much of our work in development relies on the contribution of time and money from others.  It seems like there’s always another thank you letter to write!  And it feels like you’ve already written more than your quota for a lifetime!  Here are some ideas for keeping those thank you notes and letters fresh:

Remember that each thank you is a “personal” note to the individual volunteer from you (or someone in the organization the volunteer will recognize—the executive director, a board member, or the project’s head).  Although you may  incorporate common elements in all the letters, make sure when Sally receives the letter she feels it is a personal letter from you. (No mailing labels this time.)

Start out with a celebration of what’s been accomplished (not mailing 500 letters, but receiving $6,000 in gifts in response to the letters.) 
   Mission accomplished! Together we made it possible for 30 homeless students to attend a week-    long summer camp.  That’s ten more "happy campers" than we were able to send last year!

Move right into how the volunteer’s efforts made the achievement possible.
Without you, it never would have happened. By helping us provide sleeping bags, back packs, pillows, toiletries and towels—and pay tuition, you enabled our campers to come to camp with all of the supplies that every other camper is provided by their families.  These children would never otherwise have the opportunity to attend such a camp and make new friends and wonderful memories.  This is a week off the streets, away from the shelter, with nutritious meals, caring supervision, fun and games, all in a Christian atmosphere.

In fact, Jamie, a 12-year old from last year’s camp, wrote a thank you note saying “Thank you -- if you guys didn’t pay for me to go, I wouldn’t have had the time of my life!”

Show the connection between the project and your agency’ mission. 
In our work to improve the lives and futures of the homeless children in our community, the        Camp Donegal project is just one of the ways we create opportunities for the 300 families our programs touch each year.  This is truly a project that changes lives, and it depends on your generosity.

Close with thanks again, mentioning both the current experience and the ongoing support the volunteer offers throughout the year. 
We thank you for your help with Camp Donegal this summer and for your ongoing support of our work all year.

Add a P.S.  Invite a contact.
 I’d love to hear from you about your experience with the campers, or if you are interested in participating as a regular volunteer.  You can reach me directly at -------.
Try a few new ideas to inject life into your thank you letters!

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