I was struck by a small article in the The Sunday Times Magazine this weekend which asked the question 'Is it okay to recycle presents?'
Now, I can honestly say I have never done it myself - but then I am sure I have received a recycled gift at some point - mainly because you tend to know i.e. that feeling of 'what the..., they don't know me at all..' All the more annoying for someone like me who loves to buy presents for people and actually goes to a lot of trouble in selecting gifts that I know my friends and family will love.
However, despite this being a cautionary warning ahead of your Christmas shopping it also has a very useful reminder for fundraising too.
Choosing a gift should be about empathy, about how much we understand the person we are buying for. We should first start with the person NOT with what to buy them and the same can be said about our communications to supporters. Starting with the supporter and not the communication.
Find out about them and what they want. Their interests, their likes, their dislikes. Take time to tailor messages. Produce materials that people want to receive and you will be giving the gift of information, inspiration, education, and a sense of making a difference. And as a result we may get a wonderful gift in return: happy, committed and loyal supporters.