How are you thanking your monthly donors?

It’s a fact: some organizations underestimate the power of monthly giving. Rather than recognizing it as a program with the ability to transform organizations, instead, monthly donors often fall to the wayside. Yikes! How can you avoid overlooking your monthlies and letting them sink into a black hole? Make them feel special through expressing gratitude through unique, personalized communications, both by way of email and direct mail.

Are you a monthly donor to a particular organization, and if so, have they made you feel happy about your choice to give to them twelve times a year? How so?

I give on a monthly basis to Brittany’s Hope, an organization engaged in the work of providing safety to abandoned children. Their mission and the related work that they do captured my attention, while the way they communicate their gratitude to me inspires me to keep on giving. When a lumpy, stuffed envelope landed in my mailbox, I was intrigued, because right away, I knew it contained more than a receipt. I couldn’t wait to open it.

The result? I immediately felt a smile spreading across my face. Check out the handwritten note thanking me for my support, the lovely thank you drawing, and the gifts. That necklace is just beautiful! On their own, each component is worth sharing, but together, they’re a wonderful package. It was obvious to me that Brittany’s Hope took extra time and attention when it came time to express gratitude to not only me, but their base of monthly donors, and that means a lot. I’m glad to have supported them this far and feel enthusiastically happy about supporting them in the years to come. Yes, it’s about wanting to help children, but it’s also about donating to organizations who make me feel inspired by the work my gift is making happen.

Click on the envelope to see this package.



What’s in my Inbox | Some bunny loves you (Valentines Day)

February 9, 2016

Ah, Valentine’s Day. What kind of emotions does February 14th evoke for you? As a fundraiser, can you use Valentine’s Day, in all its saccharine-sweet glory, to your advantage? Yes, absolutely. You can reimagine this time of year as something more meaningful than its cliches: an opportunity to reach out to your donors in order […]

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Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Change really IS simple!

February 8, 2016

Change is Simple is an organization whose principles are rooted in the belief that the health of our planet directly impacts human health. Since their inception five years ago, this nonprofit has been actively engaged in educating children about the connection between earth and humanity in hopes that the next generation will make the right […]

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Fundraising Friday | February 5, 2016

February 5, 2016

Are you taking advantage of the ‘honeymoon phase’ in your nonprofit marketing? Why you need to seize every opportunity for relationship building. Basics & More™ alum Save the Children of Australia with this week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling, Urgency Through Video: A Plea to Act Now Kerri Karvetski sent in this week’s What’s in my […]

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Are you taking advantage of the ‘honeymoon’ phase in your nonprofit marketing?

February 3, 2016

Have you ever heard of something called the ‘honeymoon phase?’ In marketing, the ‘honeymoon phase’ refers to that period of time (usually one to two weeks) following a customer’s purchase. They’re in love with the product or service — or think that they will be — and the savvy business builds on that relationship, right […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Gratitude and love…

February 3, 2016

Prison is often one of those places we dare not tread, not even in our minds. Journalist Tom Wicker said of prison life: “It discloses the nasty, brutish details of the life within – a life the authorities would rather we not know about, a life so far from conventional existence that the accounts of […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Kerri’s Pick

February 2, 2016

When it comes to political campaigns and featuring their respective mailings in any way shape or form, I usually hesitate. Usually. Unless I find them just too darn good not to share. Plus, there’s always the hope I have: that you’ll look past the politics, regardless of your allegiance, and see through to the heart […]

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Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Urgency Through Video: A Plea to Act Now

February 1, 2016

Save the Children of Australia is an aid and development agency dedicated to helping children who need it most. They provide protection, along with access to quality health and education services. This organization has been engaged in the wonderful work that they do for over 90 years, and their cause in itself is an emotionally […]

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Fundraising Friday | January 29, 2016

January 29, 2016

We’ve been saying it for years. Now someone has the balls to say it out loud. Charity Navigator Must Grow Up or Shut Down John F. Kennedy said “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” I’m of the opinion that too many […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Remembering Owen

January 27, 2016

When it comes to the pieces I select for What’s in my Mailbox, I typically select ones that (a) evoke a strong emotional response in me and (b) speak for themselves. Now, that’s not the only criteria I use, but they are two very important points that I look to consistently. This piece is courtesy […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Your donor’s the hero with personalized video

January 26, 2016

By now, you’re probably well aware of this rule: a thank you letter must be addressed to the donor: Dear (name). But how about a video? Now, there’s something you don’t see everyday! Once again, brought to you by my dear friend and Fundraising Grrl extraordinaire Rory Green, is a recent email straight from Covenant […]

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Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | SolarAid brings the ultimate storytelling device

January 25, 2016

How do you convey the impact of your donor’s gift? SolarAid is based in the UK, and they’re a Basics & More alumnus. An international charity combating poverty and climate change, they provide access to solar lights in some of the most remote regions of the world. Their work is complex and crucial, but it’s […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Surveying kept simple is smart (and it works)!

January 19, 2016

I’ve been practicing donor surveying since 2000, and was the first to preach the benefits of surveying on a regular basis (yeah, seriously). How come? Well, surveying is just one of the tools you can use to establish communication between you your supporters, and you want to seize every possible opportunity to do that. Plus, […]

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Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | What does a displaced family look like? (Mercy Corps)

January 18, 2016

What if you were asked this very question? It’s not exactly something you can just turn away from, going about your day as if you never heard it (or saw it). Now, what if you received an email in your inbox with this very question as its header? Would you be able to just throw […]

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Fundraising Friday | January 15, 2016

January 15, 2016

How can you pack a colossal emotional punch? This week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling features Wounded Warrior. Don’t miss it. Hand-written is always powerful, but have you ever thought of a hand-written email? How’s that possible? This week’s What’s in my Inbox from The Sandy Hook Promise Foundation. Acquiring NEW donors from direct mail is […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Wounded Warriors for the Win (Acquisition)

January 13, 2016

Acquisition mailings are tough. But in pursuit of growing our donor base, they’re a viable option, caveats and all. How do these mailings work? Through targeting a rented list of names sourced from a list broker that is typically used once. As Roger Craver of The Agitator notes: “Making a profit or even breaking even […]

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What’s in my Inbox | The power of handwritten…in an email?

January 12, 2016

In all the time I’ve been doing what I do, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a handwritten thank you email. And at this point, I thought I’d seen it all). So while the sheer idea of a handwritten thank you email in itself is novel and pretty intriguing, this particular note has extra touches […]

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Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Packing a colossal emotional punch with Wounded Warrior

January 11, 2016

Even though I’ve been at this whole storytelling thing for awhile, I still regularly ask myself: “What makes a great story?” Although I have a concrete idea at this point (actually, a well of ideas that I dip into from time to time) of what that is, storytelling is a topic I’m still exploring. I’m […]

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For non profit communicators…write music

January 7, 2016

Have you ever wondered why song lyrics from middle school remain stuck in your head, compelling you to sing along with the radio, while you find it next to impossible to remember anything from history class that very same year? Or, have you ever found yourself stuck with a persistent, stubborn earworm that you just […]

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Top 10 Things Smart Fundraisers Will be Doing in 2016 (and a bonus word for the year)

January 6, 2016

It seems like just yesterday that financial experts were still forecasting that it might take a whole decade for charitable giving to return to its levels achieved before the Great Recession! A sobering thought for all of us fundraisers out there. But here’s the reality: We’ve seen four relatively solid years of giving rebounding and […]

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