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Handwritten Donor Thank You Notes In A Virtual World

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In my prior life as Founder and Executive Director of Girlstarta nonprofit empowering girls in math science, engineering and technology – we used inexpensive digital printing to send donors Valentine’s and Thanksgiving postcards. We also had pre-printed customized thank-you card stationery for girls to write donor thank you messages inside, or we’d print a close-up picture of a student and paste it inside with a heartfelt message.

Fast forward to today.

You may be working from home without access to whatever stationery you have at the office. If your programs have gone virtual it may not be easy to get volunteers and service recipients to write thank you cards.

How can you meaningfully and affordably thank donors with a personal touch?

I’m here to help!

Here are two of my favorite virtual fundraising tools that allow you send a heartfelt personal handwritten thanks – signed, sealed, stamped, and mailed – all from your phone or tablet without you ever having to lick a stamp or address an envelope!

The Felt app: Handwritten Cards for the Modern World

I found the Felt app watching one of our favorite family TV shows with my twins, Shark Tank. A husband and wife, Topfer and Gracie Alpert were on their way home from a dinner party when Gracie said “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could thank the hostess with a card we wrote from our phone?” The Felt app was born. I know what you’re thinking…which shark invested? Mr. Wonderful saw their product as a play for the bridal market and invested $200,000.

In a world full of typed messages and printed greeting cards, the Felt app stands out. You download their app and give it access to your photostream so you can use any photo from your camera roll, like that great shot of your donor on the hard hat tour of your space! You can also use your photos from Instagram or Facebook or their illustrated designs. For a couple of dollars more a month Felt will make you custom stationery using your logo. Best of all? You create your card and write your message all from your tablet or phone. You never even have to buy (or lick) a stamp! The internet carrier pigeons send it on their way, the card is printed on high-quality Mohawk paper (in Dallas, Texas) and in a couple of days, your donor gets their special delivery.

You can try Felt FOR FREE for 7 days and send 3 cards of any size. When you sign up you can send up to 3 cards a month domestically for only $6.

Punk Post: Handwritten Cards Mailed by Artists

I have the artistic skills of a toddler. I can barely read my own handwriting, much less draw.  Luckily, despite these shortcomings I can still send frame-worthy handwritten cards, thanks to Punk Post! With Punk Post you write your card but a talented artist illustrates it for you and the results are stunning. I get a thank you for each one I send. I even had one friend who framed hers!

The card cover is a creative illustration, be it a donor thank you card, birthday card, holiday or just thinking of you message. After you select your card you enter your text for your recipient (up to 150 characters) and choose the font style you want the artist to use.

They add the artful embellishments and send you an update with a photo of the finished product they mailed with an estimated time of arrival.

Pricing per card (with postage) starts at $5.50 which honestly, you’d spend buying a card in a store! You might even fool your friends who think you are talented enough that you created it yourself (like my friend Brian Saber thought).

Disclaimer -> I am paid $0 if you sign up or become a customer of either of these companies. I just like saving time and delighting donors as much as you do.

Have a favorite tool you like to use to thank your donors? Post it in the comments!

Want some help delighting your donors? Download a copy of Rachel’s “Virtual Guide to Donor Cultivation” It’s loaded with time-saving technology tools, 11 ways to thank a donor after a gift, and 21 virtual stewardship ideas to delight your donors.

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