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The power of receiving letters: Hannah Brencher’s TED talk

The power of receiving letters: Hannah Brencher’s TED talk

If you are ever in doubt about the value of sending and receiving a letter, listen to Hannah Brencher’s TED talk.

Fundraisers send lots of different kinds of letters to supporters – requests for donations and thank you letters of course. But clever fundraisers know that many supporters truly value these communications in a way which it is easy to forget given access to the myriad other methods of communicating available at most of our fingertips.

Some people face loneliness, despair and other challenges. Handwritten or personalised letters can bring delight, pleasure and positivity to some recipients.

Hannah Brencher knows this. Her mother always wrote her letters and they were a source of comfort. When she herself experienced depression after moving to New York from college, she tried to deal with it by writing love letters to strangers, leaving them in public places to be found. Their impact was remarkable.

In her TED talk from 2012 she explains how valuable letters can be, and how a global initiative, The World Needs More Love Letters, has developed from it in which handwritten letters are rushed to those in need of a boost.

Fundraisers – keep writing to your supporters – and writing back when they respond.

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Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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