This is a wonderful guest post by my colleague and friend, Jessica Smith.
My group is constantly under pressure to get letters out in a timely fashion. The general feeling in our office is: if the response to the gift or the meeting is delayed, then it loses impact. I suspect many of you would agree with the sentiment and strive to get correspondence out the door as quickly as possible.
So, for a long time we waffled back and forth about when it was appropriate to send a letter via email versus when the letter should be delivered via hard copy. The general consensus was (for a long time) that email was fine coming from our gift officers, but it would diminish the impact of a letter from the dean.
We gave email a shot
When we decided to give email a go, we found our donors responded immediately (literally). The emails we received were sometimes positive, sometimes negative, and sometimes completely off topic. However, regardless of the content of the response, we confirmed that email was a vehicle our donors responded to.
How we did it
If you have questions on more tactical issues, such as format, and signature and email response, feel free to comment below and I will do my best to answer any questions.
Jessica Keenan Smith has upwards of two decades experience in creating award winning marketing and communications vehicles and is currently the Interim Director of Stewardship at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. As director, she leads a team of outstanding writers to ensure donors receive the highest quality materials, and her work for the School has been showcased on a global stage. Prior to joining the team at Wharton, she served as a Marketing Manager at Continuum Health Partners in NYC, and Trinity Church in Downtown Manhattan. You can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.