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If your organization accepts pledges, it’s vital that you send pledge reminders. Follow these suggestions to ensure that your pledge reminders serve your donors and your organization well.
You may think it’s redundant or annoying to remind a donor of the amount they pledged and what they owe, but providing that information in each reminder is a valued convenience for the donor. Don’t expect that a pledge is top of mind for a donor. Always include details of the pledge such as the pledge amount, remaining balance, and the amount that’s due and when. If you’re using a donor management system like Little Green Light, it likely offers functionality for creating pledge reminders. Make those details stand out from the rest of the text. Include instructions for how to pay, and consider including a remittance envelope for this purpose.
Donors make pledges because they want to support your mission, and doing so makes them feel good. You want to reinforce that feeling when you send a pledge reminder. You don’t want the donor to open it and feel the way they feel when they open a utility bill. Instead, think of it as one part acknowledgment, one part reminder, one part update. Reiterate appreciation for the pledge, share what it is making possible, and provide an accurate pledge balance. Consider adding a handwritten note to the letter, the way you might on an acknowledgment letter or appeal letter.
I recently received a pledge reminder that began, “This may seem like it’s coming out of the blue…” and indeed it did, because I hadn’t heard from the organization since making a pledge two years ago.
Establish a schedule for sending reminders, such as monthly, quarterly, or annually, and stick to it. Make a point to give donors advance notice when a pledge payment is coming due—at least a month’s time. Whatever schedule you set, do your best to be consistent with it.
Include the name, email address, and/or phone number of the point person that donors can contact if they have questions about their pledge. If circumstances have changed and the donor won’t be able to fulfill their pledge, it’s best that you know as soon as possible so you can write off the pledge. Make it easy for donors to communicate with you.
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