Have you collected very many email addresses or anniversary dates from your donors? I have tried over the years to ask our donors for their phone numbers, email addresses, anniversary dates, and more when we meet with them or phone them. Recently, I went through our donor’s profiles on Facebook looking for email addresses and birthdays. We always put our blog and email addresses on our brochures and prayer letters, too, hoping someone will email us. You have probably done the same. Like me, though, these efforts sometimes are not enough.
So, we send “getting to know you” questionnaires to our donors. We ask for their important dates, church name, and prayer requests, for example. I’d say maybe 25% of the forms are returned. (I have asked a few questions in an eMail instead, if I have an eAddress for them.)
The typical form looks something like this:
Name: __________________ Spouse’s Name: ____________________
Phone: _________________ (best time to call) __________
Recently, I read that we can increase the response to these questionnaires by changing the format. I just changed our questionnaire to look like this (only part of it – not the whole thing):
Dear Mike and Sus,
Thank you for letting us tell you about ourselves. We are ________________ and _____________ and we have been married since ____________ (mm/yy). Our children are ____________________________________ and we have enclosed a photo of our family so you can know us a little better.
We go to church at ____________________________. I like to help with ____________________________ and my spouse helps with __________________________.
Please pray for us ___________________________________.
We enclose a return envelope (a stamp on the envelope helps a lot) and a note thanking them for filling out the “Getting to Know You” letter.
In one study, a sales company’s response to their form increased significantly when they changed their typical form to a form that reads like a letter (the second example). Some questions you might want to ask: children’s names, church name, birthdays, anniversaries, phone numbers, times to call, hobbies, place of employment, and definitely prayer requests.
The goal, of course, is to know our donors better and to find ways to show them our appreciation for being a part of our team. Because I know anniversary dates and birthdays, I can send cards throughout the year. Because I know their children’s birthdays, I can ask relevant questions, like “Is Steven planning to go to college?” and then offer to help locate Campus Crusade ministries on campuses.
How do you get to know your financial partners?