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"I am campaign manager for _____ who is running for Jackson County commissioner. I just found your program and was impressed. I find it easy to use and intuitive. Keep up the good work!"
-- Aaron H., Oregon
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Saying 'thank you' to donors is one of the easiest and most effective ways to strengthen your bond with them. Thanking them quickly-- within 48 hours after receiving a donation-- is also one of the best ways to increase donations.  When donors receive a thank you quickly after sending their donation, they tend to increase their support. When they do not, they tend to decrease support.

Making a call is the quickest way to thank donors. When done well, it results in increased donations. In one study, a direct mail appeal was sent to a group of donors. From the people who responded to the appeal by sending in a donation, a test group of donors was selected and called within 24 hours after their donation was received. Three months later, another appeal was sent out to original list. In response to that appeal, donors from the test group increased their donations significantly, while donors who had not received a call, on an average gave less.

Most organizations send letters instead of calling, and this works well too. Like making calls, it is most effective if done quickly, although a late thank you is better than no thank you at all. Short thank you notes work well. Adding a few handwritten lines helps to increase the impact of your thanks.

Why do donors want to receive thank you’s? First, it assures them that you received their check. Second, it lets them know that their gift is of value to you. Third, for savvy donors, it indicates that your organization is well run, and thus a good one to support.

Making prompt thank you notes a part of your regular routine is the kind of basic work that creates a strong foundation for success.  "The long and the short of thank you’s is: if you don’t have time to thank donors, you don’t have time to have donors," says fundraising consultant Kim Klein in Thank before you bank, (the ten most important things you can know about fundraising).


The basics of FundRaiser Basic: thank you letters

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