Published on May 31, 2016 by

The perfect donor thank you letter – from an Aussie dairy farmer

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If you’re an Aussie, the plight of our dairy farmers has been big news over the last few weeks. Here is one of the many articles about it.

The Australian public responded, trying to buy locally produced, non-Coles or non-Woolworths milk. My Facebook feed (and probably yours) has been filled with people trying to work out which brands of milk and dairy products to buy that will help Australian dairy farmers.

In the midst of all this, the following post caught my eye. This is an example of an almost perfect thank you letter in social media format. Although it’s written from a business rather than a non-profit perspective, non-profits can learn a lot from it.

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This is what’s fabulous about it.

1. Personalised with references to “you”. The message refers to “all of you wonderful people” and then the magical repeated references to “Because of you”.

2. The message outlines exactly what the customers’ support has done for them.

  • Sales jumped 10%.
  • Farmers can grow their business (instead of struggling to survive), reduce debt or buy new equipment.
  • Maybe their farmers can even take a holiday!
  • They can take on another farm – which means keeping a family business alive rather than selling out.
  • Farmers’ kids can see their mum and dad smiling instead of stressed for a change.

3. It's all about people not entities. Notice it’s very specific with references to the farmers, the kids, mum and dad. Not a faceless “dairy industry” or “company”. Or even “farming community”.

Notice the big promise right at the end:

“If you keep buying we promise to keep supporting more and more farming families.”

Would that have the same impact if it read:

“If you keep buying we promise to keep supporting our suppliers.”

OR

“If you keep buying we promise to keep our corner of the dairy industry going with the best quality milk possible.”

No. It’s all about people and families.

4. It’s very heartfelt and emotional. You can feel the thankfulness, the struggle, the desperation and the return of hope throughout the message.

The interesting thing is that nowhere does it say, “We were desperate. Each year was getting harder and harder. It was a real struggle.”

It’s very effective at showing, not telling the farmers’ story.

5. It acknowledges your contribution makes a difference whether it’s large or small. If you buy just once, that’s “fantastic”. If you keep buying, you help them fulfill the big promise to support more farmers.

6. The picture of the farmer and cow with the thank you sign. It’s a direct message from the farmer to the audience. Pictures of people helped are always great as part of a thank you to donors.

7. Direct connection from one of the dairy farmers in the opening line. Maleny Dairies works with 8 farmers and this message is from one of them.

Could anything have been improved?

The main thing that stood out to me is that I wanted to know the name of the farmer in the picture! And perhaps seen the farmer's family too.

However… in writing this article, I went back to the Maleny Dairies Facebook page and found THIS!

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Again I want to know their names… but even without it, it’s hard not to feel good about supporting families like this.

Baby animals and children – a winning combination!

 

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