Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Personalization Wins the Giving Day with Donors

Last week, I told you about the trend toward shorter communications with donors, and eliminating lengthy pieces because donors lose attention to our pieces when we warble on.  The other interesting takeaway for me from the Abila study was how donors respond to our thank you efforts vs. what we spend our time doing. Again, the personalized thank you note wins the day.
So it seems to be giving day season right now, with everyone launching one day campaigns to get donations and new donors in the door. I give to many of these campaigns, and would love to give to yours (consider it market research with a charitable bend). For years I've been mentioning those who thank via twitter and Facebook are above the crowd, but now I've seen the best donor relations thank yous this year. They come from Whitworth University and Purdue University. They've taken the thank you personalized effort to a whole new level.

Check out these personalized videos I received on Twitter (click on them to play the video): 

In 8 seconds, these students have transformed my day and the way I feel about my gift! How fabulous is this? Are you planning something like this for your giving day? The students are learning an attitude of gratitude and the donors feel like a million bucks! You see it's not about perfect video quality or making sure your "brand" logo is in the right place, it's about delighting your donor in a personal way.

This is something for you to aspire to folks. When I'm asked who's doing it well- they are! I hope you're inspired by their gratitude and seek to do this at your organization. Thoughts?




  1. This is great but how did they know? On our day of giving we did everything possible to have donors share on social media using our hashtag but they didn't. We could have searched the names on Twitter but no guarantee that is the actual person. Any insight on how they were able to shout you out specifically would be appreciated. Did they ask for that information on the donation form?

  2. During our giving day at Lawrence University, we ask for social media handles on our giving form and send a tweet to each person who shares their social media information.

  3. Make it as easy for people to tweet as possible. Use icons in your receipt that link to pre-populated tweets...all people want to do is click and go. Also...they're either going to tweet or not. Adding even one step to a process (like requesting social handles) affects conversion rate. Also, for this Day, there were hourly challenges where donors could win bonus dollars for their passion area for using the giving hashtag.