Penelope Burk tells a story of one donor who, after making a $100 first-time donation, receives a thank-you letter, picks up the phone to call the organization that sent it, and announces intent to make a five-figure gift.
Seem unlikely? Perhaps. But you haven't read this kind of letter.
Burk, the renowned author, researcher, presenter, and fundraising futurist, described such a letter at the 2019 Public Media Development and Marketing Conference (PMDMC) as an example of donor-centered fundraising. This is relationship-focused fundraising that sustains donor loyalty and inspires more generous gifts by granting donors the three things they say they need every time they give. One of things donors want is to be acknowledged in a meaningful way; not as one of many donors, but as a single donor.
Here's the type of thank-you letter many of us are sending today:
Through your sponsorship, you are partnering with us to improve ABC Hospital and the care received here. On behalf of the hospital, and the patients who benefit from your generosity, I would like to thank you for your contribution of $5,000 on May 20th in support of the Foundation's 19th Annual Golf Benefit.
As a sponsor of this great event, you are making a difference!
We are honored and grateful to have your support as a sponsor of our biggest fundraising event of the year. The quality of healthcare delivered at ABC Hospital would not be as great if it were not for caring and loyal supporters like you!
(signed by the hospital foundation development director)
It's fine. But now read this one: