Listing Donors in Publications

Dear Kim,

Our three-year-old nonprofit jut conducted our first individual donor campaign. We received donations from about 75 people. We would like to acknowledge them in the newsletter. What is the etiquette regarding listing their names? Should we get each person’s permission, or is it assumed that organizations can do this?
—Naming Names

Dear Naming,

In the future, I suggest you put a small box on your reply device that says, “We would like to list your name in our newsletter. Check here if you would rather we didn’t list you…” Or, you can put a line that says, “We would like to list your name in our newsletter. Please write it the way you would like it to appear.” That way you can pick up those few people who don’t want to be listed. However, most people who do not want to be publicly acknowledged tell you that when they send in their gift.

For now, I think it is fine to list your 75 donors (which is a good showing for a first campaign, by the way.) To avoid any possible embarrassment, list them in alphabetical order, without any indication of the size of their gift. Most people get a kick out of seeing their name in the newsletter, and it is a nice way to thank people, as well as a way to show community support.