Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

YOU, the Grateful Fundraiser

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm

My appreciation supplies

When I was kid, wandering around the house to find something to do, I once stumbled upon a “Learn Calligraphy” kit my parents had. I was intrigued – either because it was something different, or maybe I was completely bored – but it gave me a challenge, so I started practicing my penmanship.

Little did I know how handy this skill would become.

As a fundraiser, I offer gratitude on a daily basis. To the staff who continue to celebrate philanthropy; the volunteer making sure labels are on envelopes and of course to event participants and donors.

When planning your fundraising event, have YOU added in the timeline – right after the event, before YOU even hold an evaluation meeting – time to say thank YOU? I know, you’re thinking, “Of course I say thank YOU.” And I know, people will always say, “I didn’t help/donate/support to receive a thank YOU (or recognition).”  But truly, have YOU taken a moment to send off more than a quick email with a “Thanks.”?

Last year in our Fund Development department, we made it the “Year of the Donor.” And one of the tactics in this year, was for one month, keeping track of how long it took to thank/show appreciation to a supporter.

And YOU can imagine, the time was minimal. Two minutes here, a walk to the post office there.  Not time-consuming, but heart warming.

We all get so wrapped up in the actual coordination of events and campaigns that we may think a quick email and @ Twitter mention of thanks, is enough. But it’s not. Your supporters took time to think about giving YOU a donation/attending your event/volunteering to support YOU. We can do the same. I have learned so much more about our donors because before I write a note, I read their donor profile. It is heartwarming to know that people out there support the same passion YOU have. Embrace and share in that.

While I think our department always made sure to show our gratitude before, during and after events, when we kept a tally of how long a handwritten note took us to write, we realized we could do more. Now, handwritten notes and cards are a staple of our daily lives.

And thankfully, I have years of self-taught calligraphy skills to put to good use.

Tips for YOU, the Grateful Fundraiser

– Thanking a sponsor? Keep a file on your computer with all references (media clips, pictures from the event, collateral marketing materials) burn them a copy to send with your thank YOU.

– Thanking a supporter? If you can, buy a nice pen and a blank thank YOU card. Don’t use other’s words (sorry Hallmark), use your own. As in all things Philanthropy, be authentic.

-Thanking a donor? Take a moment to read their donor profile if YOU have one. The note should reflect their latest gift and recognize the support and contribution they have made to your organization.

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