Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Did you say thank you?

One of the cardinal rules in donor development is that you have to send a thank you letter to your donor within 72 hours of receiving the gift (that's money in development speak).

Or does it take you 72 days to even think of sending it? With today's pace of technology, one has a huge variety of ways to say thank you. I read once that it is better to send a badly written thank you letter than to not send one at all. Is it true in your organization? I don't know about here in the Philippines, but it is a sad reality in the United States. Let us not be like them.

Here in the Philippines, our donors are more forgiving. A lot of people give to our non-profits because they know that what we do can change the world, albeit, a few people at a time. But that does not mean that we can take it for granted to thank them. They need to know that their hard-earned money was put into good use. They want to know that you received their gift and was not lost through pilferage or in transit.

Assuming that you are a small non-profit, here is what I suggest you can do once you receive a gift:

1. SMS them that their gift arrived. Call them if their gift is over 1,000 pesos.

2. Get the receipt processed ASAP!

3. Print the thank you letter. If your handwriting if is great, then handwrite those gifts over 5,000 pesos.

4. Now, post them. That means mail them at your local post office. Use a live stamp for gifts over 5,000 pesos.

5. After five days, call them and ask if they have already received your letter and receipt.

If you do this, i guarantee that you will have many happy donations to come.

God bless and I look forward to your visit tomorrow!

P.S. BTW, make sure their names are correct on the envelope!

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