We all know the importance of a prompt, genuine, hand-written thank you note after a donor visit or other key interaction. However, getting that thank you note written and in the mail can be a challenge given the other demands on our time. Here’s a key tip and a simple process to make it easier …
First of all, make sure you always have a stack of thank you notes with you. Keep a stack in your office, keep a stack in your briefcase, keep a stack in your car, etc. Also, pre-stuff them in their envelopes with a business card (but don’t seal them), and pre-stamp the envelope. One of my favorite hacks is to pre-address the envelope before going into my meeting and then leave it on the passenger seat of my car. It’s the first thing I see after my meeting and it takes just two more minutes to finish the note.
But what do you write in that note? You want something that’s efficient, but doesn’t make you sound like an insincere robot? Here’s a simple three sentence formula for foolproof thank you notes:
sentence 1 = what you saw / what happened
sentence 2 = the impact of what you saw on you or your organization
sentence 3 = what you appreciate about the person’s role in what you saw
Let’s take a look at an example that I actually wrote last week:
Putting these steps into practice will turn writing a thank you note into a three minute process for you. One minute of prep (pre-stuffing, pre-stamping, pre-addressing) and two minutes of efficient writing. And those will be three minutes well spent that make quite the impression with your donors and key contacts. Just think, when was the last time you actually received a hand-written thank you note?