I've seen a few posts, tweets and other advice on the secrets of donor communication recently -- Gail Perry had this great post on the most boring words in fundraising last week -- and I couldn't resist offering my two cents: You're talking to a person, so act like a person.
It sounds simple, but for organizations and businesses that have developed their communications strategies around press releases, official statements and copy-by-committee, treating your donor like an actual person is challenging.
This has become exponentially more important with the rise of social media. Social media is all about personal relationships and one-on-one interaction. It's about hearing what other people think and having a conversation with them.
Far too many organizations tweet from up on high, but social media is really about getting down in the trenches with your constituents and geeking out with them about the things you share in common -- ideally a passion for your cause. Really, it's a matter of sounding like you are an individual, a person who actually cares about about what you do. Is that really so difficult?
You can find more lengthy articles with detailed dos and don'ts if you need them. And definitely read everything that Tom Ahern has ever said about donor communication.
But for me, it all comes down to remembering that one fundamental thing: you're one person talking to another.