For this week’s instalment of What’s In My Mailbox, I’m shining the spotlight on The College of Dentistry at The University of Saskatchewan — namely, their 2016 impact report, aptly titled “The Joy of Giving Impact Report 2016. My interest, as well as the interest of the attendees during this past Motivate Monday, was piqued when Stacey Schewaga, Leadership Giving & Donor Relations Officer, shared her win. Everyone asked to see the impact report. Stacey, a Basics & More alum, explained:
“Sent out my first impact report and included note cards for donors to send words of encouragement for the students to be given at exam time. I sent out 211 reports and to date have received 33 note cards back and $10,550 in donations. I have plans to contact some of those who received the report to get feedback and encourage them to send back their note cards.”
To provide a plan to encourage consistent donor communication, the tried-and-true Simple Development Systems model recommends a minimum of 12 touch-points throughout the year. This keeps donors informed of the impact of their gifts and can arrive in the form of newsletters, thank you letters, gratitude reports, personal calls and emails – and impact reports.
When you get on a schedule of regular touch-points and each one is well-executed, good things happen, and trust me on this: your fundraising will totally flow…without an ask! You’ll be at the front of your supporters’ minds, and they’ll give not only readily, but generously.
The impact report Stacey sent my way is undeniably amazing for a number of reasons. For one thing, it illuminates the identities behind the organisation, from the Dean, to Stacey, to current and past students, presenting a picture that goes far beyond that of a degree-granting institution. It’s warm, welcoming, and inviting, and it presents a true picture of what donors are continuing to make possible, as well as how they’re making it happen, and in what specific areas. The gratitude is abundant and overflowing, not to mention genuine, and that is bound to inspire continued support. This impact report is everything an impact report should be, so definitely take a good look, and while you’re at it, take some time to think about how your organisation can work an impact report into your 12 touch-point system.
Update: When asked to share the comment card, Stacey noted “Here’s a photo, it is nothing fancy, just a notecard from Walmart/Staples. Some I just inserted the note card as the envelope was too big and sometimes I included both. It is probably better for tracking to not include the envelope as 1) you can make sure the note is appropriate and 2) if the donor signs their name you can track that.
I’m at 17% return rate and am just starting my follow up calls. Hoping that will get a few more returned.
Next year I think I will include a paper survey with a link to complete survey online – but this way I can include the return envelope in case some want to send donations in. And that way the note card idea doesn’t get old. Will include notecards the following year.”