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The new school year will bring with it, new possibilities, more sports, and once again a plethora of fundraising events. When embarking on a fundraiser you want to have a clear cut schedule, The fundraiser will begin on day "A" and end exactly one week later.
When collecting for your organization of course those adorable lil' faces will bring in a percentage of sales from those, like myself, who can't say no to a child. Fundraising planning is not easy, I was involved with college students for years helping them plan for fundraising, a lot of hard work go into it, you are so right, start planning now. When I first conducted research over a decade ago on the impact of thank you letters on donor loyalty and generosity, donors identified two prominent deficiencies — the time it took to receive acknowledgement letters after making gifts and the predictable nature of their content.
My research on thank you letters culminated in a list of the 20 Characteristics of Great Thank You Letters which was published in Donor-Centered Fundraising.
It indicates approximately when the donor will receive an update on the program being funded. It includes the name and phone number of a staff person whom the donor can contact at any time or an invitation to contact the writer directly. At the request of colleagues who understand the power of compelling communications, I continue to compile a catalog of the best examples of Donor-Centered Thank You Letters which is distributed to everyone whose entry is included. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to post a comment if you have any questions about something on that list of twenty characteristics. You have a wonderful opportunity to make a rare connection with your donors from the top of your choral group.
Because you have a new conductor, I would suggest that you draft something that would go to donors from this person, rather than from you. It appears from your message that it is also time to acknowledge recent contributions from some or all of your donors.
We’re struggling with the question of handwritten notes versus a printed letter signed by someone on the Board. We are a small non–profit with no small full-time staff, and we struggle to write all notes by hand. So, would a a week to two weeks be acceptable to respond, and with a letter rather than a note card?
After 32 years since establishing our annual fund we are looking to increase our Founder’s level from $1,000 to $2,000.
Creating and maintaining these levels or societies takes precious professional staff time and financial resources.
Any advice for late thank you letters and how would you open the letter, with an apology or still something unique?
If you think this is ok, then would I follow with an apology, and an explanation, just one or the other, both??? I ‘m thinking not, but feel very embarrassed that these letters are going out so late. Do not apologize; it serves only to draw attention to the fact that thank you letters are going out late. One thing we struggle with in our non-profit is the timeliness of the thank you letter…IOW, how prompt should they be?
When we conducted our original research, it was taking over a month on average for donors to receive thank you letters from not-for-profits they supported. Between our original research in 2002 and our latest research on this issue (2014), not-for-profits have made a significant improvement in the time it takes to issue acknowledgements and donors have noticed. I am the president of a very small charitable foundation supporting a local Illinois Department of Agriculture experimental farm through volunteers. In her latest book, Penelope Burk tackles one of our industry’s most frustrating and costly problems — the high turnover rate of staff and how to bring it under control. Contact us with a description of the clipart you are searching for and we'll help you find it. After lunch we drove along the picturesque riverside parkway, stopping to check out the new golf course at A’SmugglerA•s Glen.A“ It had been carved out of the Pines and rock. We walked by and admired a casting of females in bronze, a tribute to the early leaders of the Canadian Suffragette movement.
Behind the Main Parliament building sits an elegant Library, circular in shape and faced in brown brick. From Parliament Hill, we walked along busy Rideau Street, passing another eye catcher in stone.
If you here the name A’RideauA“ mentioned several times, it is because it is on many named places in Ottawa. Next to the VeteranA•s Monument is an architectural vision in steel, glass and gray granite.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame and a seminary, both on the PLace De Armes, had been their earliest constructions. The business district has broad boulevards and many, many new glass-faced and towering office buildings.
The huge complex of the Montreal hospital completes the crowded space on Rue Sherbrooke, just below the A’Mount,A“ for which Montreal is named. We walked along the busy River front street of Rue Commune, watching the horse drawn buggies and bicycles compete with congested people and auto traffic. We ventured into Simons and took the escalator down into the A’underground city.A“ It is a connected stretch, of all of the stores above ground, with many more food courts , coffee shops and shopping centers. La starbucks and then climbed up to the surface, like some latter day Eloi, from the movie Time Machine. I asked the hotel concierge to book us reservations at the A’Auberge Vieux PortA“ on Rue Commune, for dinner.
After the fireworks, like a huge receding tidal flow, the many thousands of visitors began to recede and exit the old port area. Gboth had to figure out the French translation for the English idiom A’to each his own.A“ It was sunny and pleasant out. The first floor contained 18th century French furnishings and a panoply of silver ware and Canadian tea services from the 1800A•s.
We descended, by elevator, to the basement and walked across the street using the underground tunnel. We watched and enjoyed the street performers and the thousands of strollers as we finished lunch. It was late afternoon as we walked back to the hotel, stopping by for wine and cheese in Suite #701. This year however, I am doing things a bit different by not only preparing my kids for next year with new clothes and School Supplies, but I am learning tips and tricks to help give us a head start with the little stuff that comes up throughout the year. I don't mind participating and helping set up school and sport fundraisers, what I dislike is the competition attached with. Think to the future, what is the best way to collect from all those involved, to make sure everything is turned in on the day you've selected? However, I recommended being clear on what your collecting for, what the money is going toward and so on. Both as a couple and independently, they support many charitable organizations in their quiet, yet deliberate way. I am happy to report that donors now say they receive far more thank you letters in a timely fashion. Over the years I have had many reports from thrilled Development professionals who have re-engineered their acknowledgement letters according to these principles, raising more money and improving donor retention as a result.
We are now accepting submissions for the 3rd edition of our Donor-Centered Thank You Letters Project.
Our research continually finds that leadership volunteers (board members) and top staff including artistic directors, physicians, deans, performers, etc. It should have a picture of your new conductor on it and contain a brief thank you to donors “for all you have done to date to make this wonderful choir a reality” (or some such sentiment.) It should be short – just a note size – expressing the new conductor’s delight at leading the choir, acknowledging donors’ support, and looking forward to seeing them at the next performance, perhaps.
Make this a separate thing; craft a beautiful thank you letter to be signed from someone on the board or from a member of your choir, perhaps. There are those who think only unique cards with handwritten notes inside are the way to go, but others think that a personalized letter would be more time- and cost-effective. Furthermore, one of our Board Members is pressuring for a 24-hour turnaround time, which is just not feasible given that we all have different tasks as well as our day jobs. It is the content of your thank you letter that is most important, regardless of whether it is hand-written or printed on your letterhead or on thank you note stationery. Giving time for the gift traveling to you and your thank you letter travelling back to the donor, that tells you how much time you have internally to adhere to donors’ definition of timeliness. I’m looking for suggestions to gently communicate this message in the proper way to our donors. A sudden change in historical gift or gift club levels is just one of many things about this kind of recognition that creates problems and risks alienating donors when the purpose of recognition is supposed to be enhancing relationships. My recommendation is to do away with this kind of recognition and apply the saved time and money into communicating measurable results to donors on what you are accomplishing with their gifts.
But, you can partly compensate for tardiness with an extraordinarily good letter that still makes them glad that they gave…even if they cannot remember when!
Their definition of prompt, at the time, was receiving a thank you letter within two weeks of the date they issued the gift. Our survey respondents now say that the majority of not-for-profits now meet that two-week delivery timeframe.
We are in the process of revitalizing the Foundation and are beginning to seek donations and members.


More than 2500 not-for-profits now access its findings every year and it is widely covered in industry and mainstream media. The rascally Americans had burned the place, during the War of 1812, to shut the British military supply line down. He was the unlucky British Subaltern who had been routed from town by the rascally Americans, before they torched everything.
We enjoyed the meal and our surroundings, counting ourselves lucky to be here hale and healthy, sipping wine and enjoying a meal at a nice resort.
We walked along the River for a bit then sat in front of our rooms, admiring the visage of the River and the comings and goings along it. Check-in was a bit hectic, as the beleaguered valet scurried to the hotel lot to retrieve exiting cars and park incoming. It sits strategically on the Ottawa River, astride the border of Ontario and Quebec Provinces. In 1867, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario and New Brunswick had been merged into the New Nation of Canada. Then we wandered a bit enjoying the spectacle of a NationA•s Capitol in Summer, tourist throngs enjoying their heritage. The Chateau Fairmont Laurier is a turreted fairy style castle in the grand manner of the Canadian Rail Road mega hotels.
The British had originally constructed the canal as a system for military transport from 1826-1832. Canada is self sufficient in its oil needs, getting most of its supply from the oil fields in Alberta.
A’ (Darcy had beena founder of the Candian Republic but was assiassinated near Parliament Hill in 1867.) It sits at the end of the Sparks St. They marched, wheeled and stood at arms in synchronized movement to the delight of the crowd. Finally, the pipers wailed out the stirring melody of A’Oh Canada,A“ the Canadian National Anthem. For $6, we entered this stone and glass pyramid, marveling at the size and grandeur of the facility. It is an interesting portrait of native Canadian life on the far shores of the Arctic Ocean.
Throngs of tourists were already headed up to Parliament Hill to watch the nightly sound and light show projected onto parliament Building.
We walked back along Elgin to our hotel, where we settled in with our books and waited for Morpheus to claim us.
A party of 39 French Missionaries, Sulpician Fathers from Paris, under the direction of Monsignor Maisoneauve comprised the entourage.
It is a single-story collection of pricey artistA•s shops, featuring hand-made pottery, jewelry, paintings and other items for the discerning shopper. It really is an A’underground cityA“ that frozen Montrealers can use during the harsh Winter. On etage quatre, we found an entire collection of Dutch and Italian painters from the 1600A•s and 1700A•s. A monsoon rainstorm, the night before, had given us water in the basement, and that awful armpit smell of mold, as a return present.
There is always some amazing prize for a massive to quantity sold that all three of my kids are aiming for!
Whichever it is, determine your market and get the word out, especially if your planning a event as opposed to candy sales and such. Yes, I find it hard to say no when a cute smiling face asks me to buy a candy bar, but, I will usually buy more if I am met with a smile and a clear understanding of where my donation will be going. Many have also received immediate and very generous additional gifts from donors who were now reading something they could get excited about.
If you have adapted one or more thank you letters according to the twenty donor-centered principles above or if you would like to do so now, I would love to receive a sample of your best. You are in good company with virtually all not-for-profits who are either so short-staffed or have so many donors that they cannot address them all at once. You and your board can stop worrying so much; your donors will be grateful for the obvious care and attention you are showing. All our research with donors on whether or not gift clubs or levels contribute to retention and inspire higher gift values concludes that they do not.
Then, next time, make both content and timing work in your favor so that you can maximize the benefit of acknowledgement letters – which is better renewal and higher gift value the next time you ask your donors to give. For direct mail where the gift and the thank you letter take time to travel to and from your organization, you are left with around 3-4 business days to prepare and issue your letter. But, now that timeliness is the standard, those not-for-profits who don’t meet the two-week window stand out for their inefficiency and are at risk of losing donors.
We are planning for an event that doesn’t happen for a couple of months, but are starting to collect donations for it now. After the event, send a follow up communication that lets donors know how the event turned out, how much money you made and, most important, what you will do (in specific and measurable terms) with the funds you have raised.
In searching for sample thank you letters I happened onto your site – and was deeply moved by the philosophy and, well, love expressed in how to write a great thank you letter.
It sits across the road from where we were staying for the evening, at A’The Glen House resort.A“ It is a small complex, of two story buildings, that sits along a quiet inlet of the St. We checked into our room, #147 of the Hickory Woods section, ($170 night) and then walked down to the water to sit and enjoy the bright sunshine on the river.
We sipped a glass of Cabernet, as we read our books and then drifted off to sleep for a pleasant conversation with Ozzie nelson.
It is a six-blocks long string of open air restaurants, tourist shops, street performers and office workers, lolling for lunch or a break.
They are an eye catching combination of London and Paris in the 1600A•s, though constructed here in the 1860A•s.
It had originally been founded by ex patriate Americans, fleeing the American Revolution in the 1770A•s. I wrote up my notes as we sipped a glass of cabernet and then drifted into a conversation with Ozzie Nelson. We settled into our room, read for a time and then drifted into the welcome abyss of sleep. After coffee, we found the A’Canadian Hall.A“ It is an interesting collection of rural and Winter tableaus celebrating Beau Canada. It is a two story , comfortable place with brick walls, wrought iron railings and lots of charm.
It thrived as a fur trading center between Europe and all of the interior of North America. The Casino, Dome and stadium stand against the skyline as markers of the cityA•s prominence. The temp was warm and in the 80A•s out now, but in the Winter, this place is frigid, with temps falling well below zero. We sat in dimly lit elegance in the 5 star basement restaurant.Obviously our hotel concierge had mistaken us for people of means instead of the casual types that we are.
Hebert, Suzor-Cote, Paul Peel, Helen McNichols and others were represented in a delightful gallery of oils that pleases the eye.
We cranked up the air conditioning and drove to a nearby Tim HortonA•s for soup and sandwiches, while the condo cooled off.
This had me researching online and trying different tactics in real life to see how we could help boost sales for both the organization we were raising money for, along with helping my children meet their personal goals - I guess however that is the secret genius behind the prizes, getting you to work harder to raise more. If your fundraiser involves sales, remember to be clear with the children involved that they should never go door to door alone.
If you'll be helping the kids raise money for new team uniforms, or something like a new playground, draw in a bigger crowd with cookie dough fundraising ideas.
It's a great way to teach your children the benefit of hard work, all while benefiting something you support. Just the smallest acknowledgement from one of these important people is enough to sustain a donor’s interest for a long time and inspire many to give more generously. Make sure that comes through in the quality of the thank you letter you write and everything will turn out well. Today, 92% of donors say this form of recognition has no influence and a mere 4% say gift clubs are influential in certain circumstances. It inspires them to stay longer and give more generously, the two measures that make your fundraising operation more profitable.
So, my advice is make the effort to issue thank you letters in a timely manner because doing so contributes to repeat and more generous giving.
Would it be best to send the letters as we get the donations, or after the event when we can tell them how the people responded to their gifts? The fir trees, and the bucolic scenery of the area, much belie the horrendous snowfalls that blanket the area in Winter.
Maybe that's why Indians and British soldiers, from the ButlerA•s Rangers, burned Buffalo to the ground a few months later. We listened to a musical group, watched another street actor and then browsed a few shops, buying some postcards and stamps. The 1867 Act of Confederation, by the British Parliament, had established Canada as a separate nation. Roof lines, flourished in black wrought iron, and the cathedral shaped windows reflected the beauty of the French influence on the two flanking buildings.


We looked out, from our perch on Parliament hill, and could see the twin silver spires of the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the beginnings of A’Embassy RowA“ along Sussex Street.
We drove by the enormous Beau Arts Center, the huge War Museum and the much used Museum of Civilization. Noting the the waterfall on the Ottawa River, he remarked that it looked like the curtains (Rideau) in his apartment in Paris.
Americans had looked down the sights of their rifles at these men in two wars and fought alongside of them in a dozen others. It is carved from the Northwest Territories and is peopled by native Inuits along the Arctic shores of Canada. We found and entered the A’Blue Cactus Grille.A“ It is open and airy like Sloppy JoeA•s Grille in Key West. At Darcy Mc GeeA•s Irish Pub, we stood for a time and listened to the Sons of Scotland play some stirring music on their bag pipes. We got our tickets at the kiosk and boarded a delightful, open-air, double-decker bus for the ride.($35 each) it was 80 degrees, cloudy and comfortable out. From 1715 through 1815 the small settlement had been surrounded by a stone wall, like cities in medieval Europe. In 1759, at the climactic battle of Montreal (fought in Quebec City) France lost all of Canada to the English.
To combat the harsh temperatures, the city had developed over 33 km of A’underground.A“ Two underground boulevards, paralleling busy Rue Ste.
We climbed down from our lofty perch and sought out our chatty van driver for a ride back to the Hotel Place De Armes. The Main altar is a series of gilded carvings, on three levels, depicting various religious themes.
On this end of the waterfront, sits a distinctive tower clock, It rests on a point overlooking the Cartier Bridge and the St.
We stopped at a Burger King, for bottles of Eau Dasani, and let our body temperatures cool down. On Rue Francis Xavier, we found something promising called A’Cafe De Mateo.A“ It was hot and we were tiring. It seemed that half of Montreal was in the old port area having dinner and getting ready for the fire works. This massive Cathedral holds a smaller version of the enormous, four-collumned Throne of St. We sat for a time in the PLace de Armes, watching the interesting throngs wander to and fro. We chose the outside patio of A’Le Grande TerraceA“ and settled in for Caesar salads with Salmon. We retreated to our room, where we had cheese, croissants and finished off the Mondavi Cabernet as we read our books and awaited sleep. Talk to your local business owners, you'll be surprised at how many will let you setup "shop" right outside. Oh, and let the kids get creative with signs and posters, there is no reason you can't have fun with it. A community hospice sent their new donor-centered thank you letter to a first-time donor who had just made a $100 contribution. Set an objective which is to send a beautiful thank you note, in whatever form, to as many donors as you can reasonably handle while getting those notes out in a timely fashion. Fundraisers seldom consider another problem that comes into play with graded donor recognition.
Thank you for crystallizing an thoughts and demonstrating an approach that will express how individually important each volunteer is and how grateful we are for each one’s contributions.
It lies on the East end of Lake Ontario and gets the same A’lake effectA“ snow fall that Buffalo gets from Lake Erie. It is a marvelous Queen Anne style Inn, with rear porches, porticos and a steeply gabled roof line. The surrounding countryside is rural, with conical silos, the odd brace of horses and farm houses dotting the countryside. The green copper roofs, waving Maple leaf flags and crowds of tourists gave it a holiday flavor. He has little actual official power, but is the ceremonial representative of Queen Elizabeth in Canada.
Then, the departing troops lifted their colors and marched off down Rideau and Elgin to their barracks, pipers piping and drums drumming. We walked back to the hotel, had coffee in the outdoor star bucks and then retreated to out air conditioned room for a glass of Cabernet and a conversation with Ozzie Nelson. Historians say that at first neither knew what the land comprised, or indeed wanted to own it, but fate gave it to the English.
Catherine, have emerged as shopping centers, featuring bistros, cafes and all other forms of urban commerce. McGill University, founded in 1821, is the major presence here, with over 20,000 students. We sat there for a bit and then retired to our room, where I wrote up my notes, and enjoyed a glass of cabernet. Porno shops, strip joints and sleezy bars announced that this is the place to come and slum in Montreal. We wandered back to Rue Francis Xavier and stopped in the small Cafe De Mateo, that we had noticed earlier in the day. Today would be A’une beau jour.A“ We prepped for the day, enjoying the luxurious amenities of this grand suite. Some donors tell us they were prepared to give more until they saw that they could get their name into an attractive category for less money and then downgraded their contribution.
Even today many of the settlements, along the 120 miles canal, are peopled by descendants of the original diggers in distinctive irish conclaves.In Winter, the canal is drained to a depth of two feet.
Two of the A’toy soldiers,A“ with their red jackets and black bear helmets, stood guard at the gates of the home. The Rideau Canal, the Ottawa River and the government complexes and embassies all create a tapestry of forested urban beauty. It is spacious, airy and luxurious, befitting the arm and the leg that they charge you to stay here.
Much of the old Brownstone mansions, from those who had made it in Montreal, had been converted for college use.
It looks like city officials allow A’Le BumsA“ to sleep and congregate on this far stretch of the waterfront. Laurent and then walked up and into the small but distinctive area known as A’China Town.A“ The requisite signs, in neon red and yellow announcing the lord knows what in Chinese characters, caught our attention. A perusal of the menu, in French, told us that this was going to be a $300 dinner, with few choices for Vegetarians. Far to the South, across the St.Lawrence, we could see the dim flashes of lightning illuminating the sky. Only the dull, matte finish of the lethal looking M-16 rifle, that they carried, alerted you to the actual reason for their presence. They were to stand in pairs, in one hour shifts as guards, at the gate of the Governor GeneralA•s house on Sussex street. Just across from the Cathedral sits the large VeteranA•s Monument, a tribute to CanadaA•s fallen.
Tourists were already strolling the small pedestrian walkway, browsing the ducks and other things you usually find in the windows of Chinese restaurants. Eatons, Simons and a score of other big name Canadian retailers were drawing them in by the hundreds. The next day a check arrived via courier with a post-it note attached which read, For your hopes and dreams. Nearby are the home of the Canadian Premier, Stephen Harper, at 24 Sussex, and several other magnificent mansions, housing various embassies and officials. A film, depicting the early founding of Montreal and its religious history was projected upon the sheets. It was a 30 minute version of A’La Belle Canada,A“ featuring, in light and sound, the considerable bounty of the Canadian Republic.
Actions in India, South Africa, and other venues of the British Raj, had been supported by Colonials from all members of her Common Wealth. An eccentric monk, Brother Anthony, had taken as his life's work, the task of raising money and building this huge complex in honor of St.
Our French wasnA•t good enough to understand much of the rapid fire patter on the French stations. After the 30 minute film, the sheets dropped and we got to spend 15 minutes wandering around this beautiful edifice.
We sat for 90 minutes as they went through the whole extensive A’customs procedures.A“ We had grown up on the Canadian border and always resented the A’thorough look overA“ by overly officious knuckleheads. A large and ornate complex, that now is a functioning gambling Casino, had been the French Pavilion at the WorldA•s Fair.



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