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September 4, 2019 Christa Huff

Receipting: Gift Acknowledgement

Thank you! Thank you for everything you are doing to help your organization achieve your goals and fulfill your mission. You are part of what is right in this world!

How does it feel to be thanked? Deep down we all want to feel that our accomplishments have been acknowledged. And your donors are no different. In fact, study after study has identified more than one third of all donors who quit giving to an organization say they did so because they felt unappreciated.

But what does a thank-you look like?

It is done in a timely manner. It is the first piece of communication all donors should receive following a gift and should be sent within 24 – 48 hours of gift receipt (and immediately for digital gifts).

It is personalized. You are recognizing the individual that just thought enough of your organization to give their hard-earned dollars. Say her name, recognize her gift amount, start or continue building a relationship with her.

It says “Thank You.” These magic words have a psychological effect on the donor, letting her know you truly appreciate her partnership in your cause.

It is focused on the donor. She is giving because she believes in your cause and wants to be a part of it. She needs to see how her gift is making an impact, not necessarily how your organization is making an impact. It’s a subtle difference, but one that goes a long way in building relationships.

It occurs in every channel the donor can give through, online, in the mail, on social, through the phone, etc.

If it’s a first gift, take a look at Wiley’s column this month for some pointers on activation (getting that second gift).

A proper thank-you will help you get that all-important second gift from a new donor, and it will also keep your current donors giving year after year.

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