Are you thanking donors, or just using the moment to brag?

Have you ever been thanked in a way that made you feel not so thanked? It’s what happens when the thanker uses the occasion not to thank you, but to remind you how awesome they are.

Here’s an example I came across recently. I’ve changed the name of the organization to protect them from embarrassment…

Thank you for your gift of $39.00. Your generous donation at this critical time will help Awesome R Us create real and lasting solutions to dire poverty.

I hope you take great pride in your contribution and the work that it supports. As one of the world’s largest international humanitarian organizations, Awesome R Us staff works with families and communities to transform lives through our poverty-fighting and disaster-relief programs each and every day. In fiscal year 2014, Awesome R Us worked in 85 countries around the world, implementing long-term programs to fight poverty, responding to humanitarian emergencies, and advocating for policy change to improve the lives of more than 83 million people.

Through your generous donation you’re joining us on the front lines of that work.

Thank you again for your support.

Thanking your donors is important. But to get the full impact, you need to really thank them. Tell them they’re great. Tell them what their gift will do. Tell them how important they are to you. Give them the credit for the awesomeness.

That will make them feel a lot more connected to you than a brag-fest like this one.


Comments

2 responses to “Are you thanking donors, or just using the moment to brag?”

  1. If this is the Jeff Brooks who has written The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand, all I can say is he is amazing. I am so interested in what he says in his book, I keep forgetting the title but not the information! I see why some of my successes worked and why some of my failures didn’t in direct mail. I recommend everyone read his book today! I am an “intuitive” fundraiser and it’s great to have documentation to back up what I do. Another great book, if you can find it is David Oglivey’s book on marketing. I couldn’t believe that I had done what he recommended when I wrote my first fundraising direct mail appeal–I had adapted a WWf appeal letter–just like Oglivey suggested! The problem? I couldn’t justify it to one of my directors who was furious because I had asked for money! All I could do was think, “how can we do this without money?”

  2. If this is the Jeff Brooks who has written The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand, all I can say is he is amazing. I am so interested in what he says in his book, I keep forgetting the title but not the information! I see why some of my successes worked and why some of my failures didn’t in direct mail. I recommend everyone read his book today! I am an “intuitive” fundraiser and it’s great to have documentation to back up what I do. Another great book, if you can find it is David Oglivey’s book on marketing. I couldn’t believe that I had done what he recommended when I wrote my first fundraising direct mail appeal–I had adapted a WWf appeal letter–just like Oglivey suggested! The problem? I couldn’t justify it to one of my directors who was furious because I had asked for money! All I could do was think, “how can we do this without money?”

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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