No Thanks to Donors? Shame on You.

When Kivi Leroux Miller, nonprofit communications expert, launched her second annual fundraising experiment she hoped for better results than she had received last year.

No Thanks to Donors Shame on YouKivi made $20 gifts to ten organizations to see what response she would receive. Of course she wanted to fund good work as well.

She conducted the first experiment in 2008 and received thank you correspondence from three of 12 recipient organizations (25%). This year’s results were a touch improved at 30% (3 of 10). But a 25% vs. 30% connection rate isn’t the point. Here’s what is…

70% of organizations gifted didn’t take the brief time it takes to send a thank you note. That’s crazy, as retaining donors is much more difficult than cultivating a first-timer and doing requires minimal budget and time.

Shame on you, but so easy to fix. Do it now!

Here’s more about Kivi’s experiment.

P. S. For more guidance on getting nonprofit marketing and fundraising right, subscribe to the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Photo: miracc

Nancy Schwartz on February 23, 2010 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 3 comments
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  • I know the numbers aren’t the underlying point you’re making but 3 from 12 is 25%.
    Unless this was 4 from 12 that means the organisations are getting marginally better.
    Would donors expect a non-profit to devote time and money (postage) in thanks? I’m not sure I would.

  • Thanks, Dan, for the heads up on the math error. Correction up and running!

  • Nancy, This was quite interesting to us because I find it hard to understand that nonprofits wouldn’t send a note. If not a hand written note then an email– but we have always tried to go even further. We send a photo card with either a photo of our Fair Trade artisan groups or a photo of one of the sponsored students in our program. I do remember the test that Kivi did previously and was surprised then too.
    Love your blog! thanks for all the info!

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