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5 Ways to Wow with Welcome Packs

Ready to give donors a warm introduction to your organization? Here are five ways to make your donor welcome pack a wow.

Send a hard-copy welcome in addition to an email responder series.

The emails ensure that you can drip out a series of well-planned messages over time and adjust them depending on the donor’s response. It’s an inexpensive way to keep the connection going right out of the gate.

Complement that with a snail-mail welcome pack. And don’t assume your supporters don’t pay attention to mail. Honestly, I bet you don’t know that much yet about your donors’ habits and preferences. Now’s the time to learn what they are.

Don’t wait to welcome! The moment after a first gift is priceless, so be ready to go.

It’s the time when many donors will decide whether their gift is a one-off or if they might give again, and again, and again. Do whatever you can at this point to tip them in that latter direction.

Mail the welcome pack out right after you receive the gift. Send it the first class if you can swing it. Your donor has to receive it within two weeks of making their gift for full impact. Had I received the Stickley Museum’smailing a few weeks later, it probably would have gone right into the recycling bin.

Write it warm and personal.

Imagine you’re welcoming a new member of the family, perhaps your sister’s husband to be. You want to make him feel like a part of the family asap, otherwise, he’ll feel isolated and alone as the outsider. We’ve all been there.

Use lots of the pronoun “you,” share stories, and use a conversational tone.

Include enough—ideally three or more—distinct elements that look and read related but distinct.

One of the most effective elements of the Stickley pack is the range of included content printed on different paper sizes and in different colors—but all are graphically related. I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued by the varied programs and opportunities the museum introduced to me.

The variety of design and production approaches creates a richness that invites digging in, which leads to the discovery of more richness than ever imagined.

But not too much.

Insert too many elements, or include something that’s not a priority (like the Donor’s Bill of Rights), and you run the risk of alienating your new donor. It’ll be just too much effort to go through it all and not enough reward.

Ask them to take the next step.

I’m not talking about another gift, although some organizations do make another ask. I’m talking about inviting your new donor to experience your organization as a program or event participant or volunteer. For example, the Stickley Museum offered me a finite (three-hour) intro volunteer opportunity.

P.S. Forget the tote bag or fridge magnets!

Premiums have no impact and can irritate some donors. Hold on to your budget.

What’s working with your welcome pack? Please share your recommendations here.

For a completely different take on donor welcome packs, dig into “Why I’m Not a Fan of Welcome Packs” from Australian fundraiser Margaux Smith.

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