This post comes from the Gravyty Fundraising Academy, a series that examines how fundraisers adapt and strategize to evolve what's possible through philanthropy.
Your guide for the Gravyty Fundraising Academy is Director of Customer Success, Lisa Alvezi. Lisa has worked with countless fundraisers across Higher Education, Health Care, and Nonprofit organizations to transform fundraising. As a former frontline fundraiser herself, her goal is to help you see better results from your fundraising efforts.
Here's How to Close Your Emails to Donors
You may have just typed an amazing email – great subject line, top-notch intro, a clear ask. But what if it all falls flat because your email closing simply falls flat with the donor?
Should you use an old and reliable close – Sincerely, Regards, Truly, Warmly, Thanks, Cordially, With Gratitude (and the list goes on…)? Should you avoid the problem altogether and skip a closing? (By the way, the answer to that question is no.)
Few of us are Edward R. Murrow, so rather than a standard sign-off for everything we do, choosing a closing should support the content of your entire message.
The 3 Things to Consider when selecting your closing are your recipient, organization, and personal style.
Writing 101 teaches us to always communicate with our audience in mind. However, this rule is easily forgotten on things that feel like granular details, such as the close to an email. Don’t fall victim to this trap. Consider who will receive your communication and how well you know them. A closing to a twenty-something will probably be less formal than one to an eighty-something. If you’re ever writing to a donor at their place of business – especially to those at the c-level or executives, it pays to be more formal, because those emails are archived and monitored to some extent. Choosing the perfect closing requires being mindful of who you are communicating with.
Depending on your organization, your email recipient has an expectation of you, as well. If you work for a faith-based organization, closing to a donor can be “Blessings,” but that may seem out of place if you are reaching out on behalf of a museum – regardless of what you may know of a donor’s beliefs. Closings can be powerful aids to remind people why they have an affinity to your cause. In education, you may see “Go Jaguars!” In healthcare, that may change to “Best wishes for your continuing good health.” And beyond “Blessings” for faith-based organizations, other popular closings are “Godspeed,” “Faithfully,” and “Peace.”
We can’t all be Edward R. Murrow and have the perfect sign-off for each and every occasion that is filled with our own personality. However, each one of us has our own style that’s important to convey to donors and prospects so they, in turn, can get a sense of who you are. As you move through building a donor relationship, your closings may move from the more formal “Sincerely” to “Warmly” or “My best wishes.” If you are writing to a donor you know well who is going through a tough time, “Many hugs” might be appropriate. Think about what you might say to that person in a phone call. Very few people would end a phone call with “Sincerely yours!”
Spot-on email closings aren’t rocket science, but they are important. If you send a note of thanks, “Thank you again,” or the more informal “Thanks again,” nail your messaging perfectly. If it’s a stewardship note to say happy birthday to a donor and you want to avoid redundancy, “Best wishes” is perfect. Remember to consider who you are writing to, what your organization represents to them, and who you are as a person – and you’ll find the secret to success.
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