What’s In My Mailbox: A Preemptive Postcard

March 9, 2016


Okay, so we can probably agree on the idea that a postcard is a pretty non-traditional mode for nonprofits to communicate their gratitude. How come? Well, postcards are letters that are extra easy to send in the mail because they don’t require envelopes. Because of this, their general size is kept small. This means there isn’t a whole lot of room to write. You’ve got to keep it short and sweet. And while shooting for brevity can be a great idea, especially when the content of the thank you is super impactful, this is probably as short and sweet as you can get.

Creativity in conveying thanks will ultimately get you further when done right, so why not try something new? I’ve never been a fan of thanking with a postcard, but Preemptive Love, an organization dedicated to providing heart surgeries for children in Iraq, recently sent me one that I wanted to highlight. In a postcard, PL has given me something that I want to hold onto.

  1. It’s short yet very personal by virtue of its handwritten message. There are other little touches, too, and all together, this is one compelling piece.
  2. The message is addressed to me, Pamela. Not Ms. Grow.
  3. I’m spoken to like a true hero. I’m helping save lives! They think I’m amazing! Wow.
  4. With you. We’re together in doing this amazing, life-changing work, and they consider me a part of their collective effort. That’s pretty special.
  5. The image on the front is lovely: a red, hashtagged “love anyway”. It is directly tied to who PL is as a US-based organization and the work that they do in Iraq.

I think you can understand why when I came across their thank you, I immediately wanted to save it so that I could show you. Have you ever thanked your donors with postcards? What were your reasons for doing so, and did you feel that this method of communicating gratitude was equally effective (or even more so) than the typical letter? I’d like to hear from you.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Madeline March 11, 2016 at 9:50 am

We thanked all our donors from last year’s phonathon with a postcard (that came in the mail 2 weeks after their normal thank you/receipt).
It was all about gratitude, how their gift made our project possible and when the project was going to be completed. A volunteer wrote a tiny thank you note on the back and hand addressed them.

I decided to send out a postcard because it was 1) Donors wouldn’t be scared off by an envelope thinking they were receiving another appeal! 2) It’s pretty cheap to make an in-color postcard!

I think this method was more effective, donors were able to hear and see their impact! They also got something out of the ordinary from us, which made them feel special.

Pamela Grow March 11, 2016 at 10:36 am

Brilliant Madeline! Have you checked out our Donor Love Toolkit? https://pamelagrow36.leadpages.co/donorlovetoolkit/ Lots of examples from other nonprofits.

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