Give Thanks to One and All

in Cultivation & Stewardship,Fundraising,News

Tomorrow is a major holiday here in the United States – Thanksgiving Day.  In fact, for many people this will be a 4 or 5 day holiday (some start today, others take off Thursday – Sunday). 

North American male turkey

The North American male turkey . . . "Hey there, Tom"

Thanksgiving is a holiday founded on the very early days of our country as it was being settled by the Pilgrims from Europe.  The dominant theme is to be grateful for all that we have, and to express gratitude for what others do on our behalf.

Sound familiar?  Perhaps charities should have a Donor Appreciation DayNot that you limit your gratitude to one day a year.  But rather it serves to remind you that your charity is founded on the generosity of others.  It serves to remind you how dependent you continue to be on donor benevolence, kindness, passion, and generosity. 

You could send out Donor Appreciation cards, emails, letters, text messages, Tweets, etc. to your supporters on this holiday.  Invite them to come visit you for an open house.  Just pour on the gratitude and praise for their support. 

Perhaps vary the attention based on levels of giving (e.g., major donors, mid-level and low-dollar donors; sustainer program donors; etc.).  I recognize cost is a factor and this approach has that in mind.  However, losing donors is far more costly so don’t casually dismiss this idea either.

And just to be clear . . . yes; you still send out acknowledgements – nonprofit thank you letters – throughout the year after receiving each donationWouldn’t Donor Appreciation Day be a cool way to beef up your overall donor cultivation strategy?  Or am I crazy? 

Continuing my analogy: Donors are the foundation of your charity.  They help you to survive in a way similar to how the American Indians helped the Pilgrims survive almost 400 years ago.  Always be grateful to them.  Do whatever you can to show your appreciation to donors and all your supporters.

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans.  And to everyone, thank you so much for following me here in my blog.  I also welcome your comments today and everyday.

“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.” –Edward Sandford Martin