During this time of modified operations when tasks are broadly being handled remotely, we need to be creative about how we can continue to reach out to our donor community and extend our thanks for their support.
The CAS Advancement Services team is continuing to send out weekly acknowledgments from Dean Stacey to donors who give to all Arts & Sciences programs, and we encourage your department or center to continue your regular acknowledgment practice with your donors as well.
Because our modified operations mean that many of us are no longer physically in the office, some departments and centers are moving toward sending out digital acknowledgments by email instead of mailing letters and cards -- for most, that seems to come in the form of a personal Outlook email with the acknowledgment attached as a PDF. For donors where an email isn't on file, staff are often reaching out by phone to convey their thanks and ask if there is an email address to send a digital acknowledgment to.
In all of our communications with donors during these times, please keep in mind that they are feeling uncertainty and anxiety as well. Consider using these opportunities to reach out to your donors as a chance to also let them know that we're thinking about them, and wishing them well.
If you are unsure how you'd like to handle acknowledgments from your department while staff are working remotely, or if you'd like to talk through any other donor communications you're considering, Lindsay Bailey, Associate Director of Advancement Services, is happy to consult with you!
For the time being, College-level acknowledgments from Dean Stacey are still being mailed out as physical cards and letters, but we're moving toward using digital signatures on those communications rather than routing them for actual signatures. We've also adjusted our thank you message to reflect current events:
"In these uncertain times, your support helps us to meet the challenges of this moment and those yet to come."
We're also including language regarding the fact that we're using digital signatures, and addressing the handling of the piece they're receiving -- either as a P.S. at the end of a letter, or as a small insert inside a notecard:
"I hope that this card/letter finds you well during these unprecedented times. In the interest of health and safety around the Coronavirus, this card/letter has been signed using an electronic signature. Please know that it does not diminish my sincere gratitude for your gift. I look forward to being able to sign these cards personally when circumstances allow. This card has been minimally handled, and sealed with glue."