Last month, Brenda commented on the post, Getting Personal:
“Thanks for the tips. I am terrible at cards, I can barely take care of getting cards to my own family. 🙂 Any other ideas about keeping in contact with partners? Do your partners really want that much contact from you? Some of ours don’t seem that interested. How do you find the ones that do want contact? I am sharing my deepest and darkest MPD secrets.”
Thanks for opening up, Brenda, and I hope this post, and any comments, will help answer your very good questions.
Actually, if you are terrible at cards, you may not want to do all I explained in the series on sending cards. Start small: do only your family and the twenty to thirty donors who make up the first 50% of your income. I am guessing you could then count on one hand the cards you would do each month. Being successful in this much may encourage you to add more people next year (try 80% of your donor base, which is probably about half of your donors) or you may find being in touch consistently with a handful is rewarding enough. Don’t let guilt feelings develop because you are not in touch with all your donors and at the same level with all. That would be an impossible goal.
When I do cards and such for our donors, I don’t really think of it as long and involved. It’s a habit now and goes along easily. It actually surprised me when I had to write it all out to see just how much detail I had to explain!
Do They Want to Hear That Much?
I would say that your partners do want that much contact from you. The more they know you, the more interested they will become in you and in your ministry. Of course, a few people don’t want a lot of contact. What we usually hear is they get a lot of mail from many ministries and/or they don’t want us to spend the money (and our time) on them. For the ones who have actually told us this (only about three families), I respect their wishes and limit our contact with them.
For every donor, we repeatedly expose them to the truth that they are part of a team with us. They want to know how their money is invested and often thank us for keeping them well informed. We say it over and over in our prayer letters, in our eNewsletters, and in our thank you notes.
I have been surprised a number of times when I hear from a donor that I rarely hear from and they apologize for not writing me enough! I may have sent mostly prayer letters, thank you notes, anniversary cards, and eNewsletters. That is, not that much was really “personal” correspondence and yet they felt as if I was writing to THEM. So, even when I was behind on thank you notes and just “cranking out” a lot of the same stuff to people, they still appreciated my effort.
I will share about other ways to connect with your donor team tomorrow . . .
NOTE: Visit the Correspondence Series for help on organizing your greeting cards and more.