Last year after getting married, I sat down to write “thank you” notes to our guests who had celebrated my husband and me with a gift. After five notes, I felt like I had the formula down. After 15, my eyes were starting to cross. After 20, I had to stop because they were all starting to sound the same. I wanted everyone to know how much I truly appreciated them spending their time and energy to celebrate our wedding with us. The day would not have been complete without their presence. Despite my intentions to share a genuine, personalized “thank you” with each of our guests, after a while, they stopped ringing true and instead started to sound formulaic – I actually threw away a stack and started over at a later date when I had a fresh perspective. A “thank you” should be a heartfelt expression of gratitude, but all too easily it can instead become an acknowledgement of a transaction. It is a small yet important distinction.
At this year’s Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference, I was thrilled to attend a session called “Please & Thank You: How to Engage Donors Through Gratitude” presented by contacts from CDR Fundraising Group and Christian Appalachian Project. Here are a few great tactical ideas from the session:
This list might seem daunting. Maybe you are thinking: “we can’t, we don’t have the money, the resources or the time!” Those are all valid responses, but take heart! The session suggested using the 15% solution: What small thing can you do with little additional money, time, people and authority?
Giving thanks is a humble gesture that delivers a mighty impact. From wedding “thank you” cards to full on acknowledgement programs, even simple notes to friends or colleagues, start looking for new opportunities that allow you to personally and authentically express your appreciation for others. People remember how you make them feel and showing your gratitude is a wonderful way to make them feel emotions of care, appreciation and joy!
Michelle, PS’ Senior Manager of Strategic Development, has been serving with PS since 2013. Michelle is from Woodbridge, Virginia and she telecommutes full-time from Leesburg, Virginia. Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband, singing and papercrafting! Michelle has over 10 years of experience in our industry, and she has worked with more than 10 of PS’ clients, including the Wildlife Land Trust, National Jewish Health, Heifer International, The ALS Association, HelpMeSee and Special Olympics. Michelle works on developing PS’ strategy and her dedication to communicating authentically and investing in success are just some of the reasons that Michelle is such a valuable asset to her team.