Now in my day to day job as the Head of Retention and Development as well as a supporter of many charity organisations, I am frequently stunned by the communications I receive and read - but quite often not in a good way.
There are many elements that could and should be included in a supporter communication to make them as effective and engaging as possible - but the one I lament the absence of more than any are the words or at least sentiment of Thank you.
Now to me it isn't rocket science - far from it - it is one of the simplest ways to show appreciation yet it is still the most underused.
Without our supporters we couldn't do what we do. Yet why do so many communications and additional requests for support not start by thanking supporters for what they already do. Even on a practical level, acknowledging their support up front and thanking them for it would make any additional request much easier to make after all.
So a plea, the next time you are sending an email or mailing etc asking for them to take part in an event you are running or asking for support for an appeal, please check to ensure you acknowledge them for what they already do - with a big Thank you!
For those to which I am already preaching to the converted - the next thing to do is to ensure that everyone that is involved in any production of supporter communications also understands this and has bought into it. It is an organisational wide buy-in you need - otherwise you and your team may be the only ones sending thank you infused communications - with other communications undermining all your hard work.
Of course there should be additional parts of your supporter programme that are just thank you. Not thank you and or thank you but... but a wonderfully celebratory, unmistakably clear thank you only. But for everything else you communicate there is no reason to ever not include it.