Your parents taught you to say “Thank you” didn’t they?
So, what makes it any different when you receive money from a donor.
Gratitude is extremely important, but as Janet L. Hedrick points out in her book “Effective Donor Relations” a crucial part of thanking a donor for a gift is acknowledging that you received it.
Hedrick goes on to say that there are four critical factors for an effective and authentic acknowledgment. They are:
- Promptness. A standard should be established by the development office for the time frame in which an acknowledgment or note will be in the mail. A phone call or email can go out as soon as the donation is received. The maximum time frame from receiving a gift to mailing a written acknowledgment should not be more than 48 hours.
- Personal. An impersonal acknowledgment does not convey sincere gratitude. A donor can usually recognize a letter that is generic. With available technology, it is usually easy to personalize a letter quite effectively.
- Appropriate. The acknowledgment should be appropriate for the specific donor as well as for the specific gift.
- Informative. An acknowledgment letter or a phone call, email message or handwritten note provides an organization with an opportunity to share information about itself and its mission. This information should be factual.