The lesson of Handwritten Notes


bue bar


Published August 28, 2013

The Lesson of Handwritten Notes

There’s a fascinating article in a recent Harvard Business Review.  It has important application to those in fundraising.

Here begineth the lesson.

John Coleman, the author, points out that the average corporate executive sends or receives 100 e-mails a day.  (In the calls I make on busy CEOs, I always ask the question.  They tell me they receive closer to 150 e-mails a day.)

Don’t even ask about those between the ages of 18 and 29.  They tell us that
e-mails are for older folks.  They text over 100 a day.

Okay.  Here’s what is important.

The average person receives a personal handwritten note only once every nine weeks.  The Wall Street Journal recently wrote about, “the lost art of the handwritten note.”

It’s quite clear.  If you want to make a powerful impact with your donors or probable donors, send a handwritten note.

Find a reason to write.

“You mean so much to us.”  Or, “We couldn’t have done it without you.”  Or, “Your gift meant that our research is now much closer to finding a cure.”  You get the idea.

There’s an added bonus.  Folks seldom throw away a handwritten note.  It goes in a desk drawer, on the fridge, a file, or in the purse.  Who saves an e-mail!

There’s one other benefit.  You can believe this or not.  The article says that research shows that those who write notes, “sleep better and live a happier life.”  (Well, I see you . . . you’re rolling your eyes!  You can forget this last business.)

Go ahead, begin writing notes.  Here endeth the lesson.

 — Jerry