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6 tips for successfully acknowledging pledges

Posted November 11, 2020 by Virginia Davidson

Acknowledging pledges

When it comes to managing pledges in your donor management system, it’s important to understand what they are and how to best acknowledge them.

What is a pledge?

A pledge is a constituent’s promise to donate a specific sum to an organization. The donor fulfills the pledge at a later date, either with one payment or with multiple payments. For example: If I make a pledge to your organization, I make a commitment to pay a total amount, such as $1,000. I may opt to pay in four installments of $250 or in one future payment of $1,000. The point is that I’m promising to pay a specified amount over a set period of time.

Since a pledge is not an actual financial gift, it’s important that you acknowledge pledges in an appropriate manner. Whether you’re using a donor management system like Little Green Light to record and manage pledges or are tracking gifts using a spreadsheet, you should create an acknowledgment letter template that is specifically used for pledges. Here are six things to keep in mind when you create this template:

Six tips for acknowledging pledges

  1. Express gratitude. Though you haven’t yet received funds from the supporter, it’s important that you thank the constituent for their pledge.
  2. Provide details of the pledge. Include the pledge amount and pledge date, as well as the dates and amounts of expected payments.
  3. Share payment instructions. Explain how the constituent can make their pledge payment when it’s due. If you’ll be sending reminders for pledge payments, let the constituent know to expect those.
  4. Include contact information. In case the constituent has any questions or concerns about their pledge, give them the name, phone number, and email address of the appropriate staff member at your organization.
  5. Don’t include tax-deductible language. Remember, a pledge is a commitment to give; you haven’t actually received funds yet. Your constituent will not get a tax deduction until they contribute funds to your organization. This is why it’s so important to create a separate acknowledgment template used only for pledges.
  6. Once you’ve created your pledge acknowledgment template, give it a clear name so it’s easy to distinguish from your gift acknowledgment letter. Be sure to assign this template when you create a pledge record.

Conclusion

Looking for more guidance on working with pledges? Check out these resources:

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