Mon, April 30 2007

Thank three times for each ask

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

I got a fantastic email today from Shelter Pets.  I’m blogging about it because 80-90% of the emails I get from nonprofits are awful.

Shelter Pets participated in our Six Degrees person-to-person fundraising site.  The top six fundraisers each quarter receive matching grants from Kevin Bacon.  While they didn’t finish in the top six, they were very close.  Here is the email they sent to their supporters and forwarded to Network for Good:

This special edition of the Saving Shelter Pets newsletter has been sent to update you on the results of the Six Degrees charity badge contest. As most of you know, SSP was recently involved in a fundraising contest, organized through SixDegrees.org, competing against other non-profit groups to gather the highest number of donations for their cause.

During the course of the contest, which ended March 31, SSP collected 861 donations and raised $17,375 to further our mission of helping companion animals in need. With respect to the competition, we finished seventh, just outside the top six (who each will receive a $10,000 grant from actor Kevin Bacon). Several of the top-placing charities are large, well-established organizations, and we are very pleased and proud of our efforts to achieve a top ten finish among these “competitors”!

Saving Shelter Pets would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to each and every one of you who donated and helped us to spread the word about our participation in the contest. We have made some new friends through this experience, and reconnected with some old ones too – and for this we are truly grateful.

Of the $17,375 raised in the contest, Saving Shelter Pets has applied these funds directly to our programs as follows:

$2,029 to the Puppy Promises program
$1,160 to the Bernies Buddies heartworm fund
$2,050 to the Spay & Neuter program
$12,136 to the Rescue & Transport program

$5,186 of the 6 Degrees donations has already been used to save over 30 dogs & puppies from death row, including the ones pictured below.  [Adorable photos of dogs were included.]

What a nice letter, and how wonderful to know exactly where their money went.  A genuine thank-you with clear accountability for funds raised.  Follow this model!

Shelter Pets is also worth highlighting for their MySpace page.  They do a nice job there, and during their Six Degrees campaign, they promoted their charity badge there.  [Note: Our badges will work on MySpace soon thanks to a new Network for Good partner; till then, consider creating links to the badge as Shelter Pets did. They even did a colorful promo that clicked through to their badge.]

All this raises an important point: You should be thanking your donors more.  A lot more.  Thank them at least three times as often as you ask for money.  Really.  Tell your donors this week how wonderful they are and what different they’ve made.  Pick up the phone and tell a few in person.  It will shock them, in a good way.

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