Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

YOU, Making National Philanthropy Day a Celebration

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm

What are we going to do for National Philanthropy Day? It was a question that came up during a meeting the Fund Development department had that sparked a new idea.

Last Thursday, November 15 the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia hit the streets with heart-shaped cookies and thank you letters in their hands and lots of gratitude in their hearts. It was a special morning of thanks for our very own philanthropists that was well worth  the effort.

As we mentioned in our previous blog posts, we’ve dedicated this year to celebrating philanthropy. So, what better day to recognize YOU, our philanthropists then  Canada’s First National Philanthropy Day?

Here’s how we pulled off our celebrations. If YOU missed National Philanthropy Day this year, maybe this post will help YOU to start planning for next year’s thank YOU.

1. Come up with an idea
This is the perfect opportunity to thank your supporters in a unique way. Think of something different that’s cost effective to do and make it a surprise.

We decided to do an ambush with cookies, a thank YOU letter and take photos of our supporters so they felt like philanthropy superstars, because they are!

2. Create your thank YOU list
YOU can’t thank everyone. There’s just not enough time. Think of some supporters who haven’t been recognized lately or should  receive special recognition on this day.

We came up with a list of 20 key volunteers, sponsors, donors and event supporters so people were thanked from every area.

3. Get Staff on Board
Celebrating philanthropy should be shared with all staff at your organization. Explain your idea at a meeting and tell each department how important it is that donors are thanked by all of the staff.

The Fund Development department handled the planning so all the staff had to do was participate. The thank YOU teams were separated into four groups. We strategically paired different departments together and scheduled their stops so our supporters could see a new face of the organization. For example: One person from our Administration Department and one person from our Programs & Services Department went together to thank a major sponsor for a fundraising event. It makes sense!

4. Make your materials
What would YOU like to leave behind with your philanthropists?

We decided on cookies. After over 160 heart-shaped cookies were baked and decorated (that’s a lot of sugar cookies!) we packaged them up with boxes that were donated by a local store. We wrote a thank YOU letter to leave behind at each stop that explained what National Philanthropy Day meant. We also created “I’m a Philanthropist” stickers for our supporters to wear.

5. Capture the Day

YOU put all of this work into creating something special for your donors, so don’t forget to tell the world!

We took pictures at every visit of our supporters and thanked them on Twitter using our organization’s twitter account. It’s easy to tweet a picture from your phone so make sure you have one member on the team who knows how to do this.

Twitter helped us get great results! We were able to profile our individuals and organizations and we also had other businesses following our twitter feed all day.

Don’t forget about Facebook! At the end of the day, an album was created with all of the pictures and that link was emailed  out to our philanthropists, so they could see who else was  thanked that day.

6. Have Fun

People love to be thanked.  It feels good to be thanked but it feels even better being the one who says thank YOU.

The Alzheimer Society staff felt great after visiting and thanking  our philanthropists that mean so much to our organization and all those we serve. We hope YOU: our volunteers, donors, sponsors were surprised and enjoyed our visit as much as we did.

Thank YOU for giving us something to celebrate on National Philanthropy Day.

I hope YOU are inspired to create something of your own next November to celebrate your philanthropists. All it takes is a little creativity, a plan and a whole lot of gratitude.

Did you miss the pictures of our amazing philanthropists?  Click here to see them all.

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