I’ve noticed something about what makes a thank you message stick in the heart of this case for support writer and donor. Let me explain.
I participated in a strategic planning session awhile back. The facilitator, a super smart woman, had made a donation to the charity that was in planning mode. She reported back that the organization had promptly followed up with a tax receipt and a thank you email. Check. Check. Very nice.
Some organizations have a policy that anyone who makes a donation of $250 or more gets a phone call from their relationship manager. If the gift is large enough the phone call comes from the executive director or a board member.
These are good strategies.
As a donor, I have received phone calls from charities. At the end of some calls I feel terrific about being invested in the organization’s work. The exchange feels authentic and sincere. But with other organizations I can almost picture the relationship manager crossing my name of a list at the end of the call. Check. The strategy was executed, but not a lot of connection was made.
The thing I’ve noticed about giving and receiving thanks has to do with putting purpose before plan.
Four years ago, I received a purpose-driven thank you and I still remember it. It arrived in the form of a voicemail message from Compassion Canada. It was my five-year anniversary as a donor. The caller thanked me for my support. Her voice was warm and caring. She talked about the difference the support meant for my sponsor child and the child’s family and what my longevity as a donor meant to the organization. I don’t think she read from a script. She sounded sincere. Her comments connected me with the purpose that caused me to support the organization in the first place. The call was unexpected, it warmed my heart and I remember it all these years later.
Another purpose-driven thank you came in the form of a letter and a story. My family helped to send a container of refurbished medical equipment to a community in Burundi. There was an incubator in the container. It would be the community’s first incubator and it arrived just as a mother gave birth, prematurely, to her very tiny baby. Our friends at Food for the Hungry Canada relayed the story to us. I doubt that sharing that story with us was part of a plan or a strategic move. I think it was part of a heart overflowing and an organization on-mission.
How are you saying thank you? From the mindset of purpose or plan?
In closing, a word of thanks to you for reading. I am humbled and encouraged each time someone decides to follow the blog. I hope that the time we spend together is helping you make a strong and compelling case for your cause. I have been writing the blog for about a year now and am reviewing what’s worked well and what can be improved. My goal is to be useful to you. If you have a suggestion for me, please share it in the comment section.
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