Supporter care/stewardship calls – now’s the time

It is the easiest task to do, yet it is often times overlooked in our day-to-day responsibilities. In the rush to get stuff done, including finding new donors, asking for that next big gift, and our other day-to-day tasks, we are overlooking the most important task. I am talking about saying thank you to donors, volunteers, and staff. Last week, I wrote a blog post about a fantastic supporter care experience I received from St Vincent’s Hospital Foundation Melbourne.

Thank you

COVID-19 is the right time for increased supporter care

During COVID-19, we all need to take the pledge – one thank you call, email, or handwritten note a a day. We can all take 5-10 minutes out of our day to enhance or transform a relationship.

We have more tools to actually say thank you today than ever before. Phone, email, the Web, SMS, and others. However, it is often times the “old fashioned” way to do it – the handwritten note – that stands out in donors, volunteers, and staff minds.

We receive most of our communications today via electronic format. Communications flow via email, voice mail, SMS, or via social media channels like Facebook, Facebook messenger, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Yet, what do we actually receive that is highly personalised and handwritten besides a birthday card or an occasional invite to a formal event like a wedding? Even those communications are moving more and more electronic.

This leaves me to suggest, as fundraisers, we need to communicate more in handwriting. Thank you notes are a perfect place to start.

Reasons to send handwritten notes for supporter care

There are a variety of reasons and ways to thank individuals or simply to write a supporter and recognise them for the fantastic support they offer your organisation. Reasons for handwritten communications may include:

  • A birthday.
  • An anniversary.
  • Honouring someone for achievements in your community.
  • A significant donation.
  • A donor’s giving milestone, i.e. a ten-year giving anniversary.
  • Volunteer service milestones.
  • A note to recognise a staff person who has gone above and beyond.

Think about who you will write a personal thank you to this week. Think about who you will call to thank. Remember the golden rule with supporter care and stewardship – try to say thank you via the most personal channel as possible. In my book, that is either by telephone or a hand written note.