29 Days Is a Long Time

We’ve all probably received a late acknowledgement of a contribution at one time or another and I’ll admit, I’ve even been guilty of sending an acknowledgement later than I should have.  There can be lots of reasons (some of them very good ones) for delays in gift acknowledgement, but a gift I made this year will have an impact on the way we will do business at KNN in 2012 and beyond.

I made my first-ever contribution to “anonymous charity” in late fall.  It took anonymous charity 29 days to send me an acknowledgement of this contribution.  For nearly a month, I wondered if the organization had received my gift.  Surely they did, they cashed my check!  More importantly, the gift was in honor of a dear friend and I wanted the acknowledgement to this friend to arrive in a certain timeframe – I thought two weeks for processing was PLENTY of time.  But with my own acknowledgement taking so long to process, I had to wonder if my friend had received hers.

Two things happened as a result of my experience:  1) at KNN, one of our goals in 2012 is for each of our donors and members to hear how much we appreciate your investment – directly from us and 2) KNN wants to help your nonprofit make the most of this critical acknowledgement process – see the upcoming webinar with Kivi Leroux Miller on Writing Thank-You Notes That Inspire Future Gifts.

The bottom line lesson in this experience for me was that regardless of the amount of the gift (or in KNN’s case, the membership dues), the amount is significant for the donor (or member) and this deserves prompt and sincere acknowledgement.  This recommitment will be a priority for KNN in 2012 and I encourage you to check out other fundraising best practices in our Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence Guide.  Also, let us hear from you – what strategies does your organization use to assure your donors “feel the love?”

Danielle Clore

Executive Director

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