People are always floored when I ask them what they think most charities and churches do when someone gives for the first time. Maybe you will be too? Ready?
NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
How, Oh how can you GIVE your money to an organization for the first time and NOT elicit a personal response? I am not talking about the automated reply in your email that says “thanks.” That is acknowledgement. I am talking about a person taking the time to actually say “Thank you.”
For years at my church, every time someone gave for the first time, I sent them a personal card welcoming them to our giving community, said thanks and sometimes gave them my personal cell number to call if they wanted to connect. I always sent a card but sometimes I would call.
I loved it when those same folks gave their children money to put in the offering envelope and they would scratch their name on it. By the handwriting and gift amount you could almost always tell it was a child. I loved handcrafting the note to “Mr.” or “Miss” on the envelope. You could always count on those parents finding me at the next church service and telling me the effect that note had on their children (often with moist eyes). “Before we get to church, our kid is bugging us about giving in the offering.”
Selah. Pause and think about that…
Sometimes I would get a listing of all the people who had faithfully given for years and years and send them a note and just thank them for their consistency and commitment to our mission.
What did that 5 minutes cost me? Consider, if the gift was $5. THAT TRANSLATES TO $60 PER HOUR. Mentally calculating my supposed rate of pay always helped me do the job cheerfully. What about that $100 gift? At $100 for 5 minutes time, that is $1200 PER HOUR. What about that $1,000 gift? THAT IS $12,000 PER HOUR RATE OF PAY. Uhm…who gets to work for those kind of returns?
OMG! WHY DO WE NOT TAKE THE TIME TO SAY THANK YOU FOR THE GIFTS WE RECEIVE? HOW MUCH MONEY WOULD A PERSON HAVE TO GIVE BEFORE WE PICK UP THE PEN OR PHONE AND PERSONALLY SAY THANK YOU?
I often give initial gifts to organizations and churches and wait for the welcoming note or call. And, I am again and again disappointed when I get no response. Don’t they realize that there is more where that came from? Does it really matter, the size of the gift?
ALWAYS give a personal thanks when your organization receives a gift from a donor for the first time. ALWAYS thank them. Use it as your opportunity to get to know them. See if you can determine their motivation. They didn’t give for that reason, but a “thank you” sure helps them give larger and more often.
Churches need to say “thank you.”
Pastor’s need to say “thank you.”
Nonprofits need to say “thank you.”
MGO’s need to say “thank you.”
Director’s need to say “thank you.”
Need more money for your organization? Start saying a personal “thank you” regularly and consistently.