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End of Year Giving Statements: An Opportunity for a Powerful Donor Relations Message

Here in the US it’s tax time again. That means it’s a great opportunity for donor relations to create a memorable experience for donors. Even though tax laws have changed recently and less and less people are itemizing charitable deductions, a calendar year-end tax statement of their cumulative giving is still a great addition to the donor experience. This should be done as early into the new calendar year as possible so the donors are informed of their giving and feel confident of your operation. So who gets a year-end giving statement?

Ideally, it should be anyone who has given more than one gift in the last calendar year. I honestly don’t think these are necessary for those that only give once. But for monthly donors, these are great reminders of their support as you don’t want to thank them each and every month.

How should you send these out? I think digitally through email is perfect, as most recurring or monthly donors are digital. Don’t send one of these yet? Better now than never. I have been surprised by the organizations that I give a good deal to don’t do this for me. So I brought you some examples:

This one is really simple, but the mail merge seems to have gone awry using my first and last name…

This one from Tennessee is great, and it prints easily and has student impact on it - kudos!

The next one from Charity:Water is, of course, brilliant in its imagery and messaging. The mail merge of my name misses the mark but wow at the text:

“The receipt below isn’t just a tax receipt! It’s a testament to your impact. It’s a bill of sale for the good that you’ve inspired for people around the world. And we hope you’re proud!”

I am inspired and impact is included- WOO HOO

And finally, the best for last - my friends at Whitworth created a great message of student impact in a simple but effective email. It also makes clear what kinds of gifts are included, and I think it is able to be replicated no matter the size of your shop or resources.

What did you do for your donors as a year-end statement? Remember adding in touches like this are simple, easy ways to give gratitude and inspire future giving. But now I wait. I wait for the organization that has the gumption to follow this up by asking for an increase in my monthly giving. I’ve never been asked to increase my monthly giving in a systematic way by anyone I donate to… It’s the next step but is often forgotten - they’ve primed the pump with good donor relations but haven’t completed my experience by asking for an increase!

Maybe one day… wishful thinking!




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