Dozens of Blue Avocado readers gave our writer Keiko Rosenstiel a lot to work with:
After hearing from so many Blue Avocado readers what is the right way to sign off on a nonprofit email, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is none! It’s a personal preference that must take into consideration who is at the receiving end.
It’s impractical to type “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars,” as Casey Kasem signed off his famous Top 40 radio show. However much I like the message, it’s too long! The consensus is… quick, and in keeping with the tone of the email.
Here’s some of what we heard:
“I wouldn’t consider using the closing ‘Yours in Christ’ for a business email, it’s too politically incorrect for organizational behavior (unless your nonprofit is a Christian organization). ‘Fondly’ is too personal and very often we have no personal connection to an email recipient. ‘Yours Truly’ is over-used. How about a simple, ‘Warm Regards?'” – Shari Bridges
Kathleen Dowd (Human Service Forum of Springfield, MA) agrees and frequently also uses “Warmly.” “In my signature as president of LEAGUE at AT&T, I took the lead from business colleagues in Europe and use ‘Kind Regards'” says Denise Hill. “I use ‘Best Regards,'” wrote Linnea Klee (Children’s Council of San Francisco), but it seems a bit formal. I struggle with the other options.”
“I like to use ‘Kind regards.’ ‘Regards’ seems a bit short; ‘Warm regards’ seems a bit too friendly. But I guess one can never be too kind.” — Sue DeMarco of the Pancreas Foundation (Reader Joyce uses just “Kindly.”)
“‘Farewell.’ It’s short and impossible to misunderstand. Just as important, it cannot possibly give offense to anyone. It has no undertones, overtones, or hidden meanings.” — Len in Warminster, UK
“For a number of years now, I have been signing off ‘All the best’; I know I am always happy when it comes back to me. Another upbeat one: ‘Cheers.'” — Terri Forman of Peninsula Jewish Community Center in California
“I usually sign off e-mails with ‘Take care’—including my official e-mails to ministers etc. So far no one has complained. — Heike of Galway One World Centre, Ireland
“My current favorite—unknown how long it will last—is ‘With Appreciation.’ I think of it as thanking them for taking time to communicate with me and sharing our ideas. — Tim Johnson of Denver
“I find that ‘Thanks’ almost always seems to express what I want it to. It is not as formal as Thank you,’ but much better than “thx” (which I have seen too often).” — Dave Cannard
“What nonprofit e-mailers should be sure to do is take advantage of the opportunity for a BRIEF tagline at the end of your auto-signature. This can be either your organization’s motto or a link to your website [or an upcoming event]. By the same token, I find the ‘personal favorite quote’ style of tagline to be unprofessional.” — Cate Steane, Fesco Family Shelter, Hayward, CA (previous article about Cate)
Since emails DO have built-in automatic signature, what is appropriate there? But that’s another story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts… Keiko