Seasons greetings?

by Jini Stolk

Now that I’ve finally sent the last of my personal Christmas cards (I know, but it’s my way…) I wanted to share a few thoughts on the many year-end/holiday email greetings I received from all of you.

I’m especially curious about whether the surge in emailed end of year fundraising appeals yielded results. I have to say that I wasn’t moved to give in response to any of these messages, although I’m usually quite susceptible to a good holiday season request. I wonder what the response rate was for companies doing this type of request for the first time in 2012 (there were a lot of you.) For those who have analyzed who responded: were they younger? first time donors? additional gifts from long-time supporters? How did the response rate compare to your year-end mailed appeals?

I’m perfectly willing to accept that my relatively cool reaction might be an age-cohort thing, but until the results are in I’d urge everyone to carry on with their traditional written request, and use the electronic appeal as a follow-up or carefully segmented e-mailing.

As for the e-holiday cards: again, there were a lot of them, and for me the most interesting and gratefully received were those with staff or cast photos. They seemed like a small, but genuine, gift.

SOFII’s monthly must reads included a nice piece from Jeff Schreifels of the VERITUS Group if you’re still looking for new resolutions for 2013. He says that the most important thing you can do this year is to create an attitude of gratitude within yourself and your organization. “… if we are to be successful as major gift fundraisers, and have a fulfilled life, we must show gratitude in all we do… I believe that something mystical happens between a donor, a fundraiser and the organization when a donor decides to give of his or her resources to fund the mission. And gratitude is at the centre of all of it.”

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