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Nov 27, 2023

Measuring Speedy Gratitude

On the first day of November, I sent out 49 small “white mail” gifts.

After 3-weeks, here is what I received:

  1. Two of the gifts were returned because the address was undeliverable.
  2. Of the 47 gifts that (I think) were delivered, I have received 14 acknowledgments (30% acknowledgment rate).

Now, there could be a lot of reasons why 70% of my received gifts were not (yet) acknowledged:

  1. Maybe some of my gifts got lost in the mail.
  2. Maybe some of my gifts are still being processed.
  3. Some of my receipts might be using nonprofit (slow) postage and haven’t arrived yet.
  4. Maybe some acknowledgments were batched and still waiting to be sent.
  5. Maybe my gifts ($10) were too small to acknowledge.

Whatever the reason, we have to do better at acknowledging gifts.

In the 25 years I have been in this business, one of the consistent recommendations is making it a priority to acknowledge gifts. All gifts – even $10 ones – should receive a receipt sent first class. And yes, even online gifts should get a mailed receipt.

Every donor – whether they say so or not – wants to have their gift acknowledged. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do.

Fundraising Forward

Postage rates and problematic delivery are making me rethink how fundraising might need to adapt moving forward. In 2024, First Class postage is a whopping 73 cents (who knew when those “forever” stamps don’t put the amount on them?) and nonprofit postage is between...

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Test First Class Postage this Fall

One of the disturbing USPS trends – other than raising the cost of postage every year – is the bulk delivery of appeal letters with nonprofit postage. Over the past year, when I check my mailbox for the appeal letters I’m seeded on, I have noticed that I receive all...

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Top 5 Mistakes: #1 Stopping New Donor Acquisition

I have been analyzing the fundraising business for nearly three decades and over the years I keep seeing nonprofit organizations making the same mistakes. These errors hold organizations back. If you are new to fundraising, please commit yourself to avoiding these...

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