I received an anniversary card the other day. Not from my husband, although our wedding anniversary is coming up, but from Feed the Children.
Based on the date of my first donation, the nonprofit organization sent me a letter with a big “Happy Anniversary!” in gold lettering on the front, with a personal thank-you inside.
Today is your anniversary as a friend of Feed the Children, and I wanted to write you to thank you for your heartfelt commitment to partner with us five years ago.
The letter went on to include the date of my first donation, the total dollar amount of my donations over the years, and a picture of a young girl about my oldest daughter’s age at the bottom.
Non-profits are notorious for their donor tracking and excellent use of donor history to personalize requests. In this case, it was highly effective. I donate what I can, but with so many worthy causes vying for my pocketbook, each one gets a small sliver of the pie.
When I saw the dollar amount there in black and white, I looked down and thought, “That’s it? That’s all it’s amounted to?” Although I know I am as generous as our budget allows and that my gifts are spread over a number of nonprofits, as well as our local church, at that moment, the number hit my pride. It was embarrassing. My knee-jerk reaction was to reach for my checkbook.
As a vertical, nonprofits have a greater than average skill set when it comes to personalization and they have been tracking a high number of fields per donor for a long time. They have a leg up on the rest of us. Still, it makes one wonder — in what other verticals or business models does a customer’s anniversary offer significant and overlooked opportunities? Are you in one?