Every element of a fundraising package must work together to achieve gestalt.
And this includes the thank you sent for donations received or for members who joined your association.
Briefly: Gestalt is a phenomenon where the whole is greater than the individual parts. It’s akin to a chemical reaction where you create something wonderful because all the elements are working together … reinforcing each other.
A common thread or theme is usually what ties the elements together:
• Teaser copy for the outer envelope (if you elect to use a teaser), or perhaps the design of the envelope
• The lead, body, closing and P.S. of the letter
• Lift note or Lift letter
• Reply device (and ideally also the reply envelope)
And each element can touch on the theme from a different angle.
I believe maximum gestalt is achieved when you also tie the thank you letter in with the package. So how might you boost gestalt with the thank you?
Here’s an example:
Your nonprofit is an elder care facility. It ranges from independent living area to assisted living and on to full nursing care rooms.
The theme of your letter was asking for donations to purchase more equipment for the physical rehab center and fitness room.
For the thank you letter (or card), why not include a photo of happy residents on several different pieces of equipment. Each holds a large sign with a single letter on it and together they all spell, “Thank You!”
That’s gestalt. That’s showing donors how they make a difference. That’s memorable gratitude. That’s giving donors the desire to continue giving.
Oh, and all this applies equally to online donations and your thank you / confirmation page. The design of the page ought to be consistent with the campaign, content, video, etc. that they responded to.