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Holiday Card Dos and Don'ts


KQED nailed their holiday card this year. Inexpensive, no glitter or foil, just a heartfelt message to me, the donor, for being a part of their mission.

My time at Hallmark Cards years ago taught me that the artwork image might be the opener, but the message inside was the closer to every sale.


Make it personal. This organization knows me, and makes sure I know they know me. People give to people they know, so build the relationship starting with your holiday card.


Try a “From the desk of…” approach.

Less work, more heart, very compelling.

This can be from the ED or your Program Director or even a leading volunteer in your organization. Anything that helps you make an authentic connection with your donors.


When even a nonprofit’s holiday card comes with a solicitation ask, you shouldn’t be surprised when the recipient’s husband says, “I don’t even open their mail anymore. All they do is ask for money and they don’t even need it.”

This holiday season, ask for support. Just be mindful of the balance you’re creating between giving and receiving.


Donors are in a relationship with you and your organization. If you keep take, take, taking without giving donors info, gratitude, and celebration of all that’s been accomplished together, your entire relationship will go in the recycling bin.

On the other hand, giving your donors the ability to celebrate all you have accomplished together is truly a gift. Don't let the opportunity pass you buy -- email, postcard, greeting card, from the desk of letter -- send your donors the gift that celebrates generosity!

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