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Communicating with female philanthroic donors [electronic resource] : how various methods of thanking women and informing them of the use of their gifts impact giving /

by Kleopfer, Amber M.

Abstract (Summary)
This study was designed to test the impact of two separate variables - (1) thanking philanthropic donors through varying degrees of one-way and two-way interpersonal interaction and (2) informing donors about usage of previous similar gifts - on the philanthropic giving behaviors of two separate populations of female patients who were asked to contribute to a breast cancer research fund via an annual solicitation mailing method. The first portion of the study examines the thanking variable by comparing the annual giving behaviors of a population of female breast cancer donors before and after the donors are thanked through various methods: via either (1) a standard, computer-generated thank-you letter, (2) a voice mail message, (3) a handwritten, personal thank-you note, (4) a phone conversation or (5) a personal visit. The study shows that the thanking methods that allow for two-way communication between the donor and the development officer - phone conversations and personal visits - result in a statistically significant increase in the number of donors who made repeat annual gifts one year later. None of the various methods of thanking donors appeared, however, to lead to an increase in the amount of the repeat gifts. The second portion of the study examines the informing variable by comparing the response rates and gift amounts of a group of female breast cancer patients who received a breast cancer research fund solicitation letter with a group who received the same letter as well as an additional clinical trial update sheet highlighting the impact of philanthropic dollars on breast cancer research. The study showed that including the clinical trial update did not increase the likelihood that a woman would make a gift. In fact, the response rates for the two groups were exactly identical. The inclusion of the research update did, however, appear to impact the gift amount: the average gift increased by more than $50 when the additional information sheet was included. Although this increase was not statistically significant, it does have implications relevant and useful to the practice of fund raising.
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School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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