Did you feel a slight shift in the atmosphere last Wednesday at 1pm Pacific? A wave of well-being that you couldn’t place? A yearning to thank your barista just a little bit more vociferously than usual?
That’s because right about then me, Shanon Doolittle, and about 250 of our closest friends were dishing about good gratitude. Good grief did we have fun!
Shanon always wows with her practical, yet totally inspired tips for donor love. The Goddess of Gratitude did not disappoint. (I wasn’t actually counting but I think 376 is a pretty good guestimate of how many ideas Shanon gave out during the webinar. All very doable, by the way.)
Want to hear a surprising thing Shanon said about writing a thank you note?
Don’t start with: “Thank you for…”
Nope, start with something zippier. You expect a thank you note to start with the words “Thank you.” The expected rarely dazzles a donor. (The Wordifierhas your back when it comes to finding better words, don’t you worry.)
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton
Right, so, here’s the thing–we simply don’t show enough gratitude. By ‘we’, I mean pretty much all of us. Not just nonprofits. Many times in any given day I think, “Dang, I am grateful to that person/ organization/ company/ whatever for that bit of goodness they are putting out to the world.” But thinking it isn’t the same as saying it or showing it. As G. B. Stern said, “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”
Words of Gratitude come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s some inspiration!
In short, show gratitude whenever possible. So many people contribute to your nonprofit’s success–donors, volunteers, community supporters, etc. etc. Make sure they know how much you appreciate them. And remember that expressing gratitude not only makes the person you’re talking to feel good, it makes you feel good, too.
How many thank you letters have you received after making a donation that you remember? Go ahead. Count. It won’t take long. Most are totally and utterly un-memorable.
What a waste of paper and people-power.
Sure, you *have* to send an acknowledgement letter to everyone who donates to your organization. But acknowledging is not thanking. An acknowledgement doesn’t make the recipient feel all warm and fuzzy and good about what they’ve done. It makes them remember that soon they’ll have to file taxes. That’s stressful, not joyful.
Do your organization and everyone else a favor–turn your standard acknowledgement letter into a “thank you, you are awesome and we couldn’t do this without you because you ROCK” letter (or an equivalent that is appropriate for your organization’s brand).