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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCLast March the corn market lost 30 cents after the USDA surprisingly increased stock levels. Last week the USDA surprised again but with a big drop in corn stock levels, resulting in a 20-cent market rally. The reason for the adjustment isn’t clear. Some think it was because last year’s yield was lower while others say more animals were on feed. Regardless, it’s keeping prices from going lower until yields are determined, which won’t be for a month or two.Corn re-ownership strategies I’ve described how to choose which crop should be stored at home during harvest and if farmers should pay for commercial storage. When making those storage decisions I explained that futures shouldn’t be included in the evaluation because farmers can reown grain using futures or an option strategy. While there are countless ways for farmers to re-own grain, the following shows two strategies most often used and the pros and cons of each.Re-ownership using options: Buying calls In this strategy a farmer sells their grain for cash and then buys a March call trying to capture upside potential. Buying a call is buying the right to own grain at a predetermined price called the strike price. This strategy is recommended because it limits loss potential to an upfront cost (i.e. the cost of the call option) while leaving unlimited upside potential.While this sounds positive on the surface, there are hidden issues with this strategy. First off, there are numerous variables determining the call’s value: • How long until the call expires, in this case March options expire Feb 21st • How close the call is to being “in the money” which is the difference between futures value and strike price purchased • General belief of where the market could be headed or volatility which determines the value of the call. Following shows how the costs of buying different March call options shifted from before to after last week’s USDA report.As of the Friday after the report March futures increased 13 cents; however, the cost/value of the call didn’t increase the same amount. It only increased 4 to 8 cents depending on the strike price.Maybe the most common choice among the options above would have been to sell cash grain at $3.84 futures and buy calls at a $4.00 strike price for 9 cents before the report. However, if the March futures continues to trade at or below $4.00 for the next 5 months, the value of the $4 call will probably never exceed the 14-cent value it is today. Without a rally above $4 the call will eventually work its way to zero value. The call buyer is then out all of the 9 cents they paid for the option before the report.Re-ownership buying a futures contract The strategy that best resembles what farmers do when storing unpriced grain in a commercial facility is selling cash grain and buying a futures position at the same time. Let’s assume the same scenario above, a farmer sold for cash corn last week and immediately reowned March futures for $3.84 hoping for a future rally. With $3.97 futures now, the buyer is ahead 13 cents on the trade.Which trade is better? Both trades have risk, so the question I would ask is, “what do you expect from the market?” If you expect the market to go higher, buying futures is better because you get 1 for 1 price movement. Buying calls only gets 1 for 2 price movement during the first part of a rally. If you expect the market to tank, buying calls may be the better solution, but even then, why not also sell more bushels or even sell some corn for a different crop year to minimize the risk of loss on the purchase of the call if you believe that prices are likely to go lower.However, the futures buyer will be behind a call buyer if futures drop below $3.75 in this example. The most a call buyer can lose, in this case, is 9 cents from the trade. If we subtract that value from the cash price collected at $3.84, we are left with the price where the futures buyer or call option are basically at the same breakeven point. However, if the futures prices continue lower the futures buyer has unlimited downside loss potential. In other words, buying futures does worse than buying calls when the market goes significantly lower than the cost of the call option.I tend to dislike buying calls because of the odds against them making money. In the 3 possible market scenarios (i.e. up, down or sideways), buying calls will only make money in 1 of the 3 possible outcomes, if the market goes up a lot. Call buyers will lose money in a sideways or lower market. That’s 66% of the time buying calls will not be successful.Futures buyers, on the other hand, will be more profitable than call buyers in 2 out of 3 market scenarios. I also would take into consideration the time of year for using futures instead of calls. Post-harvest prices tend to improve until around July 4th, so buying futures has less risk during this time. Prices tend to drift lower from July 4th to harvest, so buying calls has less risk during late summer.Re-ownership through buying futures, or buying calls, or even leaving unpriced grain in commercial storage all have risks. And unfortunately, reducing risk means also reducing reward. Everyone has different risk tolerance and profit goals, but it’s important to think through your goals and have a plan. The statement, “I want to make the most I can” is not a satisfactory plan, because it doesn’t provide risk parameters or attainable goals.Please email [email protected] with any questions or to learn more. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results.
Survey those who support your cause.Do they consume the information you provide? Are they subscribing to your newsletter or reading your nonprofit’s blog? Are they engaged with your social media updates? Why or why not?Understand your core supporters.Each audience is different. Once you can identify your cause’s most ardent supporters, you can work on passing them the microphone once in a while. Learn how they got involved with your cause in the first place. Do they have a personal connection? What is that connection? Do a little digging to find out.Pinpoint which stories are most compelling to your current audience.Note any trends or parallels in your current collection of messages. Do one-off appeals work best? Uplifting stories? Harrowing tales?After completing the steps above, take a look at all of your fundraising and marketing messages.Turn the most effective pieces into outward-facing communications aimed at gaining new supporters. Voila! You have vetted material that you know is helpful and worthwhile to those who care.For more social good and cause marketing news, follow Allison on Twitter. 1) Marketing from within can inform your donor retention strategy. 2) This type of marketing will give your audience the tools to communicate your message. 3) Ultimately, this will further your mission by helping you raise more money online. In my recent interview with Jay Baer on his book Youtility, we explored how companies and nonprofits can use social concepts to make their marketing focused more on helping people, and less about hyping a product or cause. Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:AM: One of my favorite parts of the book is when you describe the relationship between the youtility concept and social media. “If [your brand is] interesting and useful and helpful, your supporters and prospects will do more of your marketing for you, helping your organization work less arduously and expensively on interruption marketing in its various guises.” What are some baby steps to help those well versed in push marketing move to more of a listening role? JB: Thank you. Indeed, content (youtility) is fire, and social media is gasoline. The best first step in that process is to make sure that your employees/volunteers/donors fully understand and appreciate your useful content. Almost every organization has their target audiences for content upside down. You should be marketing from the inside out. If your existing volunteers don’t know about and love your useful content, why should brand new people? Why this is relevant for nonprofits: How to do “inside out” marketing:
Mind the gap.That’s the advice in a new report on mid-level donor programs. The folks at Sea Change Strategies caution that nonprofits are missing out on a ton of money simply because they’re overlooking a committed and productive audience: middle donors —the donors who give more than low-dollar direct marketing donations, but less than major gift targets. THE MISSING MIDDLE: Neglecting Middle Donors Is Costing You Millions, by Sea Change Strategies’ Alia McKee and Mark Rovner, does double duty as a wake-up call and roadmap for creating effective mid-level donor programs. The study is based on interviews and data from 27 organizations and experts, including heavy hitters like Roger Craver and nonprofits such as The Nature Conservancy and the Human Rights Campaign. The free whitepaper includes:8 habits of highly-effective mid-level donor programsA sample framework for a 30-day action planIn-depth profiles of two highly effective mid-level programsFresh from the AFP conference in San Antonio, Alia McKee shares some more insight about The Missing Middle:How do you distinguish mid-level giving from a major donor program? Is it simply the dollar amount or are there other things going on here?Alia: It’s really about the dollar amount. Of course the definition of middle donor varies from organization to organization, but it tends to hover anywhere between $250-$9,000 cumulative in a year.In the report, you touch on possible challenges on getting executive buy-in. Can you give us some ideas on how to make the case for investing in a mid-level donor program?Alia:1. Among the groups participating in the Wired Wealthy Study, donors at the $1,000 to $10,000 levels (annual giving via all channels) represented roughly one percent of the donor population, but were giving more than a third of the dollars. That’s a HUGE amount of revenue.2. Middle donors are actually an organization’s most committed donors. They will be retained and upgraded far more than smaller donors and far more than major donors. They represent a very significant block of money, commitment and loyalty.3. A functional and philosophical gap exists between direct marketing programs and major gifts programs. Hence, middle donors often receive lackluster treatment that is driven by attribution wars and resentment across the organizational divide. But their capacity to give is huge—so minor tweaks to their treatment can yield big results in revenue. What was the biggest surprise for you in this research?Alia: Despite the fact that every fundraiser and expert we talked to universally agreed that mid-level donors are exceptionally valuable, they also agreed that most organizations haven’t made the kinds of investments necessary to make the most of this immense opportunity.Can small shops pursue a mid-level donor program?Alia: Absolutely. Small changes in stewardship of middle donors can yield results regardless of an organization’s size. Of course, capacity is an issue. But many nonprofits we spoke to approached this creatively including:Staff pizza parties to stuff personalized mailers to middle donorsVolunteer phone calls to middle donors thanking them for their supportMore substantive content to middle donors culled from other organizational communicationsCan your online efforts help your mid-level strategy?Alia: Digital outreach is not the silver bullet when it comes to middle donors. You must communicate with those donors across channels (e.g. be channel agnostic) and give them substantive communications in person, via phone, by notecard or by email. Ideally, you’d reach them through their self-selected preferred channels. Just for fun: Monie in the Middle or Malcolm in the Middle?Alia: Malcolm in the Middle, but only because of Bryan Cranston!Get in touch with your Missing Middle. Join our free webinar with Sea Change Strategies’ Alia McKee and Mark Rovner on Tuesday, May 6 at 1pm EDT. Register now for your chance to hear from these two fundraising gurus and get your mid-level donor questions answered. (Can’t attend the live session? Register anyway to get a copy of the recording sent directly to you via email.)
We can’t wait to get #15NTC started—and I hope to see you there! New product testing: We’re looking for nonprofit staff to give us some feedback on a new online fundraising platform we’re working on. If you’re interested in talking to our tech team, please email [email protected] to find out more. To show our appreciation for lending us 60 minutes of your time, we’ll make a donation to your organization! Friday, March 6th at 1:30pm CST: In this session Matthew Mielcarek of Charity Dynamics will join Caryn for a presentation all about online fundraising and digital tools: Your Guide to 2015 Digital Opportunity and Finding Tools to Get You There – #15NTCdigtools (this session will be available to view on demand when the conference is over} Social: Follow us on Twitter @Network4Good and on [email protected] to see where we are and what we’re up to at #15NTC. Breakout sessions: Caryn Stein, VP of Communications and Content, will be presenting two breakout sessions this week: Thursday, March 5th at 10:30am CST: Caryn will join Jamie McDonald, founder of Generosity Inc, to give you inside info on how to launch a successful giving day: The Secret Formula to Successful Giving Days. #15NTCGivingdays This morning five of my colleagues and I are flying to Austin, Texas for the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC)! We’re looking forward to learning, networking, and enjoying all that Austin has to offer. If you will be in Austin, or if you’re attending NTC virtually, we’d love to meet you! Here are some ways to get in touch with the Network for Good team at NTC: If you’re not registered for NTC, you can come to the Science Fair on Wednesday March 4th from 1:30-3:30pm CST at the Austin Convention Center. NTC Science Fair: Come say hi to us at booth 813! Pick up some swag, spin our prize wheel, and learn how Network for Good can help you raise more money online with our software and coaching!
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on March 1, 2013March 21, 2017By: Ashley Holmer, Founder and Executive Director, Red Sweater ProjectClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)It seems in the developed world we are consistently debating what is the best health care system: public versus private, access versus quality, confidentiality versus national reform for the public good.But what about where there are little to no health care provisions at all to even debate?This is often the situation in rural Tanzania, where people are less likely to visit a clinic or hospital when in need of the services of a health care professional. Miles from the nearest clinic or dispensary, the majority turn to local “proven” herbal concoctions, tribal medicines or simply, prayer. So, how can one receive health services in a place where there is only one trained doctor for every 39,000 people?My answer has always been continuing education. For the last eight years, I’ve worked to bring education to rural areas of the country where most children halt their education after the sixth grade. Currently in Tanzania, while nearly 100 percent of children enroll in free primary school, only 7 percent graduate from high school. So, how do we train the next generation of doctors, nurses, dentists and counselors in the developing world if so few can obtain an adequate education? The Red Sweater Project provides education to children in rural areas whose families are unable to afford the drastically prohibitive government school fees.There can be no ignoring the connection between education and better health for all. The good news is we don’t have to create an entire health care system to instantly improve health in the developing world. For example, building proper latrine or composting toilets at schools increases female attendance, while ensuring regular handwashing at schools. Given that regular handwashing alone could reduce 40 percent of cases of diarrhea or more, this could have an immense impact.These simple actions are changing the lives of children like 15 year-old Amina Ramadhani, a current student who, one year ago, was deliberating her then bleak future with no means to afford to attend secondary school. But today, Amina is attending Mungere Secondary School, which was opened in 2012 and is just a 5-minute walk from her house. Not only is she receiving the education she deserves, but the information and classes she attends on safe health practices and proper sanitation also travel home with her, where she educates her family on these important lessons.Continuing education in the classroom must be regarded as important as teaching knowledge and skills regarding good hygiene, which has proven to keep children like Amina out of the hospital and inside the classroom.For more on the WASH and Women’s Health blog series coordinated by WASH advocates, click here, or visit WASH Advocates.Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on February 6, 2014November 7, 2016By: Sara Riese, Research Advisor, Translating Research into Action (TRAction)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A meeting which brought together implementers and experts in the fields of performance-based incentives, maternal newborn and child health (MNCH), and quality of care (QoC) was bound to get complicated. Each of these fields has its own theories of change, indicators, measurement needs & approaches, and languages which they use to communicate amongst themselves. But as performance-based incentive (PBI) programs increasingly move towards integrating and incentivizing quality of MNCH care performance measures within their programs, the need for collaboration and communication has never been more important. In order to start this conversation, USAID, the TRAction project, and the World Bank co-hosted the launch of a working group which will hopefully drive this collaboration.Meeting participants reflected on a few key questions over the day and a half:Since PBI programs are being implemented in countries across the globe, in both high and low resource settings-it is here to stay, in some form or another. How can PBI programs be made as effective as possible to improve quality of maternal and child health care? What are the most important quality indicators to incentivize?These questions brought out some of the clear differences between the different groups. While the PBI implementers were seeking to develop a clear set of quality indicators that could be incorporated as measures into programs, presenters and members of the quality of care world talked of not using the word “quality” anymore since it is so vague, and members from the MNCH community spoke of how long it has taken (and continues to take) their own community to develop a core set of quality indicators. In general most felt that a conceptual framework showing the potential areas of overlap and limitations of PBI and QoC is necessary before delving into a discussion on specific indicators.How can this working group, or a group like it, advance the work on quality of care and PBI?The group identified three key areas which emerged from the conversation: measurement strategies and indicators, gaps in knowledge and the “black box”, and navigating change. Smaller groups delved into priorities within these particular areas and worked to create a short term work agenda in the area, identifying the key human and other resources needed, as well as whether there is scope for building a community of practice or email group around the area.Results of those discussions can be found in the meeting report here.Without a doubt, there are areas of overlap and synergy between the different fields. Continued collaboration and discussion between these diverse groups is going to be necessary in order to identify the key areas of overlap and develop tools which will effectively respond to the needs of PBI implementers seeking to integrate measures of quality into their programs.What do you see as areas of overlap between the performance-based incentive, quality of care, and maternal, newborn, and child health worlds? How can they work together to make a greater impact on the health of mothers and children around the world?Share this:
Posted on April 3, 2014November 7, 2016By: Julia Dae Rubin, Zanzibar Program Manager, D-TREE InternationalClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Could you provide an overview of D-TREE’s projects?D-TREE enables community and facility health workers to deliver high quality health care in low and middle income countries by developing protocols for health workers, designing and testing software for delivering protocols on mobile devices and implementing use of these clinical protocols. Within maternal health, D-TREE’s projects focus on linking the facility and the community for a continuum of care through pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, childbirth, infancy and beyond. We implement decision-support antenatal and postpartum care applications, including PMTCT.Other than the technology, what are key factors that can affect the success of an mHealth initiative?Aside from the technology, other important factors include:Sound maternal health guidelines and protocols: Without sound protocols based on global best practices and government guidelines, the technology itself is uselessnon-mHealth interventions that are critical to the success of the program: For example, for our project in Zanzibar we supply emergency maternal transportActive participants: Technology can help facilitate and guide action, but the action must ultimately be taken by participants—often community or facility health workers—who in turn need guidance and supervisionMulti-level partnerships: D-TREE works closely not only with our NGO partners, but with multiple levels of the Ministry of Health in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania, who play an important role in implementation and scale upHow do your mHealth offerings leverage existing resources available to communities for maternal health?For our community initiatives, we always utilize existing community agents who may be traditional birth attendants, community health workers, or some other informal cadre of community agent. In Zanzibar, we also leverage existing and dormant transport systems. Currently in Zanzibar, emergency transportation services are in existence but are inconsistent, expensive and often unreliable. We utilize existing emergency transport systems where possible (e.g., ambulances), but also have supported the creation of a community-based referral system made up of local vehicle owners (cars, boats, buses) within each area that are available transport women to a facility when needed at a fair price.Are there limitations to the extent to which mHealth can be used to improve maternal health?There are still barriers to quality care that mHealth interventions may fail to address. Despite D-TREE driving up standards of care within facilities and communities using mHealth decision-support applications, the reality is some people do not reach care in time or do reach it and receive sub-par care. In emergency circumstances such as Emergency Obstetric Care people may act quickly and on their instincts instead of using a tool.Women may not seek care because it might still be considered culturally a “last resort”, and may instead go to Traditional Birth Attendants. Despite our integrating a decision-maker consent form into the registration process, husbands might still prohibit their wives from going to the facility until it is too late because of fear of hidden costs or exposure to male health workers. D-TREE is working tirelessly to encourage male involvement, though it’s clear that changing deeply engrained cultural birthing practices cannot always be overcome with mHealth.Do you have an opinion on the role mHealth can play to improve maternal health? What do you see as the biggest advantages of mHealth? The limitations? If you are interested in submitting a blog post for our ongoing guest blog series on mHealth for Maternal Health, please email MHTF Research Assistant Yogeeta Manglani at [email protected] this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on April 1, 2014November 7, 2016By: Abby Beaudette, MPH; Ashley Thomas, MPH; Caitlin Denning, MPH; Dr. James Wolff, ; Justin Maly, MPH; Marion McNabb, MPH, Boston University School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Could you give us an overview of your projects in mHealth and/or maternal health?At Boston University School Of Public Health we have developed a project-based course, Using Mhealth Technology to Improve Health Outcomes, that creates partnerships between student teams and global public health organizations to design and develop mHealth applications. Our mobile applications have included a developmental screening application for anganwadi health workers in India, a comprehensive chronic disease survey tool for a remote area in Mexico, and a decision support tool for community health workers in Namibia.Other than the technology, what are key factors that can affect the success of an mHealth initiative?People. Knowing your end user is a large determinant of whether or not your application will be a success. Do you know your end user’s literacy level? Their technological literacy level? What about the amount of time that they have to dedicate to the application? Are they being paid to use the application, or are they using the application themselves? You need to make your end user happy. The overall functionality and design of an application is rendered useless if uptake is minimal, or if the target end user is encumbered by its use. This issue is likely more ubiquitous than should be the case, but there also have been innovative solutions that demonstrate an intimate knowledge, not only of the environment, but the intended user population.Within maternal health, where do you see mHealth as having the highest impact or highest potential for impact?Consider these two facts:Coverage for most MNCH interventions (except for immunization) is hovering somewhere around 50%. That means that half of all mothers and children are not getting access to lifesaving health care. To improve health outcomes, we are going to have to increase coverage of key MNCH services by building demand, expanding access to and improving the quality of these services.By 2019 there will be 9.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions and over 5 billion of these will be mobile broadband subscriptions. One billion of those with cell phones will continue to have very limited access to health care. For those people with cell phones but limited health care access, phones have the potential to expand access, increase demand and improve quality and accountability of health services that will directly result in greater coverage of the population.Taking these into consideration, we believe that mHealth could have the highest impact on health education, both for clients as well as health care workers (HCW). mHealth can support HCWs to follow protocols for treatment, and connect patients to the nearest health facility in the event of an emergency.Are there limitations to the extent to which mHealth can be used to improve maternal health?mHealth applications are rarely a solution in and of themselves, but merely one piece of a puzzle that constitutes a greater campaign or program. Highlighting this, the risk of maternal mortality is highest intra- and post-partum and is often caused by complications such as hemorrhage and obstruction, which are challenging to address with mHealth tools.Further, while the vast majority of the world’s inhabitants have access to a cell phone, over a billion people lack access, either because they can’t afford one or because there is no cellular reception in their area. Worryingly, this 1 billion represents the population that we often need to reach the most urgently.Do you have an opinion on the role mHealth can play to improve maternal health? What do you see as the biggest advantages of mHealth? The limitations? If you are interested in submitting a blog post for our ongoing guest blog series on mHealth for Maternal Health, please email MHTF Research Assistant Yogeeta Manglani at [email protected] this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Gratitude comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether your method of choice is an email, a letter, or a phone call; those two little words —thank you— go a long way to brightening someone’s day and making them feel appreciated.A heartfelt, sincere gift acknowledgment can be the difference between a first-time donor and a lifelong donor. The best acknowledgments engage donors, show them what their donation will do, and gives them confidence that their gift was well placed.4 Qualities of Memorable Donor Thank YousGo beyond “thank you” with these tried and true ways of expressing your donor gratitude. Send thank you messages that are:PersonalYour donors are friends of your organization. Being personal, warm, and authentic with them is essential to the longevity of your relationship. Send updates of your work and how their support makes it possible. Take the time to customize your thank you letters, using the segmentations you’ve created in your donor management system.TangibleDonors want to know that their dollars matter, so tell them what you did with their money. Share a story that highlights how a donor’s gift is making a difference. Invite your local donors to tour your facility or visit a program site. If possible, arrange for them to meet some of the people you serve. There’s nothing like having an unforgettable experience to make a cause tangible.CreativeSending photos or videos of your work is a great way to create a strong, emotional connection with your donors. Vary who the thank you comes from. Notes from volunteers, community members, or someone helped by the gift can be just as powerful as a message from your executive director.Donor-CentricYour donors make your work possible. Give them proper credit. List the accomplishments they’ve made possible and put them front and center in all of your outreach. As you write your thank you letters, make it about them and the difference you are making together.4 Things to Avoid in a Thank YouNow that you’ve mastered the “do’s” of saying thank you, here are some “don’ts” to keep in mind. Avoid thank yous that are:All About YouLetters that are all about your organization and the work you do risk sounding boastful, rather than emotionally connecting the donor to the cause. Focus on your appreciation of the donor and their gift, so your thank you message is just that: a message of thanks.LateA quick turnaround on your part shows the donor that their gift was valued. Use your donor management system to generate the email and direct mail thank you messages. Set aside time every week to produce and send your thank yous. If your donor intake process doesn’t allow for a thank you to be delivered quickly, it’s time to make a change.ComplicatedThanking donors should not be complex or time-consuming. Expedite your thank you process with templates for each version of your thank you emails and letters that you can tailor to specific donors. This will help you avoid having to start from scratch each time. Create one for major donors, first-time donors, events, etc. Discuss with your executive director about her or his involvement in the donor thank you process. Which letters do they want to personally sign or add hand-written notes to?Your Final ContactAfter the thank you, keep your donors involved and engaged. Add them to your newsletter list, invite them to special events, send them holiday greetings, and give them the opportunity to connect with you if they have any questions. This should be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.How will you say thank you? Download our guide, “How to Write Better Donor Thank Yous,” for more insights into donor acknowledgments, samples of unique ways to thank your donors, and a template to craft your own memorable thank you messages.