Several months ago, I wrote post entitled “How a Simple P.S. Engages Donors.” One of our clients has a MGO who tried it. Here is what she sent, followed by the actual donor response.

Actual Outgoing Email to Donor

Hello (Donor Name),
Thank you very much for your generosity to (ORG)!
Hopefully you received the introduction letter I mailed about 3 weeks ago. I know people are busy, and a brief email reply is the quickest way to respond. If you wouldn’t mind answering two questions via email, that would be terrific.
1) Main reasons why you give to ORG.
2) Which (if any) of our programs mean the most to you.
Spring is nearly here!
P.S. I will send you personalized updates. Do you prefer email or regular postal mail?


Actual Response from Donor

Hello (MGO),
Thanks for the follow-up email. We are out of town and will return next week.
We’ll talk about the reasons we give to (ORG) over the next few days and I’ll email you our answers. We have been giving for many years and feel (ORG) is on the front lines in supporting folks with the greatest need. What a wonderful history of helping!
Again, we will discuss the reasons why and what programs we think are the most beneficial. Look for something early next week.
And email is the best way to reach us.
Our office email is XXX and that is another way of reaching both of us.
Thanks for asking for our input. We appreciate the opportunity to provide input.
Donor Name

Several observations:

  1. The MGO’s email is short and to the point, stating what the MGO wants to know – which will help the MGO learn the passions and interests of the donor.
  2. Notice the promise to send personalized updates, motivating the donor to give the information that will drive those updates.
  3. The request for communication preference is stated simply: email or mail?
  4. The donor is eager to share the information and thanks the MGO for asking.
  5. The donor offers another point of contact – the office email.

If you haven’t tried this yet with your caseload donors, Jeff and I suggest you do. Remember, your key to success is knowing the passions and interests of your donor. And this is a very good way to get that information. Also, remember to promise personalized updates that match those passions and interests.
Sometimes it’s the little things that help you move forward with donors. This one works!