Recently, I received a donation receipt via email after making a donation. Regardless if this is acceptable with the IRS or not, as a donor, I personally think this way of acknowledging a contribution is rather impersonal.
Again, I understand that the twenty-something generation is thinking about speed and efficiency. But what gets lost in the translation is the understanding that a donor had a conscience driven moment and sometimes a directed emotional feeling. During this “donation dance process” there is basically an unwritten rule of common courtesy that expects the person or organization on the other end of the gift to accept it with the same intent that it was given with grace and honor. In short, I want the human effort put back into the process!
The more progress that takes place, the more impersonal things seem to become. In a nonprofit organization, where in most cases it is all about helping individuals and their collective needs, I’m concerned that somewhere down the line we are losing the real meaning behind why the organization was formed in the first place.
It is all about the people– both the clients in need and the donors that respond.
Many fundraising database systems enable nonprofits to send email receipts, but also facilitate more personal interactions. Consider backing up the convenience of an emailed receipt with a hand-signed, mail-merged letter or even a personal phone call or meeting with larger or high potential-value donors. Establishing and keeping healthy relationships with all of your donors is important.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide legal or accounting advice, or to address specific situations. Please consult with your legal or tax advisor to supplement and verify what you learn here.