Doing It Right! United Way of the Bluegrass (Lexington, KY)

If you opened your e-mail this morning and found a message with the subject line “Michelle thanks you” would you open it out of curiosity? Hopefully you would because you would find a great e-mail from United Way of the Bluegrass (Lexington, KY) that is worth reading. (A big thank you to R.J. Zonna at United Way of Erie County for forwarding this e-mail)

What are they doing right?

First, the e-mail very quickly gets to the point in the first sentence with the phrase “introduce you to Michelle, someone you have helped thanks to your support of United Way.” This sentence establishes that you are a donor and “thanks” to your support you have helped Michelle. Most United Ways do a great job thanking donors, but usually United Ways only thank donors shortly after receiving their contribution. This e-mail says “thanks” when donors are not expecting it, which makes it more meaningful.

Second, the e-mail tells the story of Michelle and how United Way teamed up with partners to provide fast and free tax preparation and United Way’s Back on Track matched savings program. The story of Michelle as a single mom, her acknowledgement that “Help from United Way programs allows me to accomplish this goal,” and her picture make a very personal connection between the donor and the impact of their contribution. Using stories like Michelle’s are the best way to make the impact of giving personal for donors.

Third, the e-mail includes some statistics about how many people in Central Kentucky were helped last year, how much they received in refunds, and how much in EITC. These statistics are not overwhelming and in the context of the entire e-mail take only a sentence. However, the power of statistics like these is to show donors how significant these challenges are in Central Kentucky and that Michelle is not one of five people helped but one of over 3,000 people helped.

Fourth, the e-mail asks for an additional $25 contribution. This is a concrete, reasonable, and manageable amount for United Way of the Bluegrass donors. With links to give and to their Web site, even if a donor does not choose to make another contribution, it gives the donor an easy opportunity to connect to United Way of the Bluegrass to learn more.

This e-mail from United Way of the Bluegrass is a great example of an e-mail that thanks donors for their support, informs donors of their impact, and asks donors for their continued support. Before you press the send button on another e-mail to your donors, think about how an e-mail like this one from United Way of the Bluegrass can deepen your relationship with your donors. United Way of the Bluegrass, you are Doing It Right!