Why does our envelope look so complicated and why do we use an envelope that is different than other Cru giving envelopes -- can't we just use a regular Cru giving envelope? Isn't our way of collecting the envelopes invasive -- why do we wait until all envelopes are collected? Why not just leave them on the table?
Again, our events are really designed to make the person feel comfortable but challenged. We as staff tend to get overly concerned about the donors’ feelings. Many have been to dinners before and view ours as the least complicated and best organized. You must understand that relatively speaking, there is only a short amount of time to complete the response device, so even though the envelope might seem complicated, it is one of the easiest to complete and every word was chosen for a purpose and has been time-tested.
Time is critical at the end of an evening, especially when the speaker is done. People are ready to head home. Our envelopes take three minutes or less to complete and that is the “attention threshold” for people at an event. The IRS has certain safety and security requirements that must be maintained for any giving device and we have certain giving options that must exist – so finding the perfect balance was not easy, but we feel we have met both criteria.
The issue of collecting the envelopes has been greatly debated over the years. Some feel it is invasive to ask guests to hand back their envelopes that night. Actually, in all studies, we’ve found that when an envelope leaves the building, it rarely comes back. It is our desire to collect each envelope that night no matter what – that’s why there is not a return address on the envelope. We’ve also found that having the host past around the large host envelope and allowing the guest to put their own personal envelope in the large envelope is the most effective and least threatening way to collect the envelopes.
This implies that we want the envelope back, but takes the pressure off of the host having to wait for the guest to pass the little envelope back before the large envelope is collected. Making sure that all host envelopes are collected before ending the program is essential as more hosts than you would think mistakenly take their envelope home – with credit card information, cash and checks.