Sargent Communications
   [ HOME ]  [ E-NEWS ]  [ SERVICES ]  [ FREE RESOURCES ]  [ CLIENTS ]  [ ABOUT ]  [ E-MAIL LISA ]  TEL: +001 (860) 881-7009

The Loyalty Letter

E-news that helps you keep donors connected (and giving)
to your cause.

More |


January 2011
Published by Lisa Sargent

Welcome, Nonprofit Professionals:

Phyllis Bard is development officer of Kids In Distress, a wonderful charity in South Florida dedicated to preventing child abuse and to helping kids who've been abused, abandoned and neglected.

She recently shared with me two donor stewardship ideas -- one of which KID is presently using, and one that's in the works as I write.

In turn, Phyllis generously agreed to let me share with you -- including samples.

For the record, KID is a client of mine. But these ideas and samples are pure Phyllis: hence the "D-I-Y," or do it yourself, portion of the headline below...

Thanks, as ever, for reading The Loyalty Letter. I'm glad you're here.

Until next month,

Lisa Sargent
Sargent Communications

P.S. If you aren't yet a subscriber, you can sign up free using the box at the top right of this page. And if you like this issue, please share. Thanks!

D-I-Y (Do-It-Yourself) Donor Stewardship
from Kids In Distress

See how one South Florida charity gets creative to steward its donors and save money at the same time. Easy to adapt, easy to implement...

D-I-Y Donor Stewardship Tip #1:

In addition to donation thank-you letters that Kids In Distress sends to all donors (never more than 48 hours after a gift is received - bravo!), Phyllis likes for people who give to receive something that vividly connects their donation to KID's work.

So she sends -- at varying intervals -- letters written by some of the children and families KID helps. 

She then attaches a 'sticky' to the letter, with a handwritten message from her that begins, "Because of your generosity..." then links the donor's gift to the note she encloses.

If you guessed that feedback from this stewardship piece has been terrific, you're right. 

One woman called to say she didn't feel her donation was generous enough to merit receiving such an 'intimate' letter... then promptly sent a check for double the amount of her prior gift.

Phyllis also reported that many notes come back, written by donors, addressed directly to the children.

See sample letter 1 here and sample letter 2 here. (Please excuse the quality of photo in letter 1: it's a good bit better in real life; Phyllis shared her already-scanned PDF version with me, and with you.) 

Can you do something similar? 

Yes, you can... and I hope that when you do, you'll let me (and Phyllis!) know how you make out.

D-I-Y Stewardship Tip Number 2:  

For many organizations, donor newsletters can make up a substantial chunk of the fundraising and development budget each year -- something that often results in the powers that be deciding to slash an issue, or worse yet, stop sending altogether.

(Aside: halting or cutting back on donor newsletters is a huge mistake. I can think of one large charity that did so, because it was between agencies. Two years later, donors were still calling to ask when their newsletter would arrive. Oh, the opportunities lost.)

Now back to earth. As a mid-sized charity, KID knows it needs a dynamite donor newsletter, but strives to control costs wherever possible.

So Phyllis is getting crafty.

She'll soon ask area businesses to underwrite production costs for the newsletter - per issue or per year - as a way of helping out. 

Businesses that sign on get the benefit of a sponsorship box in the newsletter, increasing goodwill in the community, and helping more of each donation go directly to making life better for children in South Florida who've been abused, abandoned or neglected... and that's why it's a good stewardship idea. 

By the way, my designer colleague Sandie and I overhauled KID's donor newsletter last fall. This link will take you to the PDF on the Kids In Distress website, which shows how it looks, pre-sponsors. 

If Phyllis signs on sponsors for the next issue, I'll ask to show you another sample.
Stay tuned.

P.S. Subscribing to The Loyalty Letter is easy: scroll up for handy sign-up form at the top of this page.   

And lastly, if ever you have a question on donor communications, send it along to The Loyalty Letter. All you have to do is:

Email me.

Or call: +001 (860) 881-7009.

FREE! Subscribe to The Loyalty Letter, the FREE monthly
that helps great nonprofits – like yours! – keep more donors connected (and giving)

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List iconSubscribe to
The Loyalty Letter e-news!



A new donor thank-you clinic is presently in the works for SOFII:
in memoriam
donation thank you letters.

It should be ready within the next month.

Meanwhile, this is the link to my previous donor thank you letter clinics on SOFII (occupies top 3 links or so).

While you're there, and if you haven't already, I encourage you to sign up for SOFII's e-mail updates.

That way, you'll never miss a new exhibit (all of which can help you in your work).

Or, if you prefer, you can sign up to receive e-mail updates from SOFII here.


Sargent Communications 
PO Box 814, Wolfeboro, NH 03894
Voice: +001 (860) 881-7009

Copyright © Lisa Sargent and Sargent Communications. All rights reserved. Site Design by: S.Collette Design