Institute for Charitable Giving

blue rule

Eschew the Email

blue rule

There’s no one more effective in the field in maintaining relationships than Frank Cerutti. He’s Vice President at Prison Fellowship.

“When I was a young fundraiser,” he tells me, “my boss said that he wants me to send ten handwritten notes a day to our donor base. That was ages ago. To this very day, I still do that. I write ten a day.”

At a time when most people are buried in e-mails, there is nothing that makes a greater impact than a handwritten note. Next best is a letter (you all remember what a letter is, don’t you!).

I hear it all the time. People tell me they tuck a handwritten note or letter in their briefcase or put it in their drawer for further reading. How many e-mails are handled that way?

Clark Baker just retired as the CEO of one of the very largest YMCAs in the country. He made a practice of sending five handwritten notes every evening before he left the office.

Jim Bowers, also. When he was head of the development program at Scripps Memorial Hospital and Clinic in La Jolla, he made certain that his development staff would not leave the office in the evening without sending five notes to donors thanking them for their support. He made certain friends of the institution knew how grateful Scripps was.


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