Having a gratitude attitude

Hi everyone!

I know how hard organizations work on crafting their fundraising appeals. And yes, I feel the pain of having 7 different managers read the ask and add their comments/edits. (As a friend says: Writing by committee is where good fundraising goes to die.)

Let's talk thank you's: Expert advice is to prepare your campaign thank you first or at least towards the beginning of the process. Yet so often it's the last thing composed.

Why is that? Showing a proper amount of gratitude to donors and supporters is what helps build the relationship, which of course is what fundraising is all about.

So why are so many thank you letters perfunctory, boring and void of any donor love? What advice would you give organizations about how to improve their gratitude attitude?



  • KentWeimerKentWeimer
    Voter U.S.A. 25 Likes Photogenic

    My mentor in this business said good nonprofits have mastered the ask. The few exceptional nonprofits have mastered the thank.

    I have taken that advice to heart throughout my career. We use many levels of stewardship; phone calls, hand written thank you notes from staff, personal visits just to thank the donor, hand written notes from board members. These follow the formal written thank you that we send.

  • Love that quote!!!

  • KentWeimerKentWeimer
    Voter U.S.A. 25 Likes Photogenic

    @EphraimGopin , I wish your post would generate some more ideas from members.

  • Barbara-

    I love both of the ideas you mentioned! A little creativity and thoughtfulness go a long way with donors.

    I'm ok with over-the-top thanks letters, even for small donations. I believe in treating a $10 donor like a $10,000 donor. If stewarded right, that $10 donor eventually gives a lot more.

  • I love any discussion about gratitude! Yes, showing thanks to donors is important, but are we showing the same appreciation to one another? A organization that puts gratitude front and center in all things may find it easier to show gratitude to the many donors, volunteers, stakeholders, and other supporters.

  • Wait @TrishBachman you want employers to show gratitude to staff??!! 🤯

  • Staff will be 😍🤩💃

  • And for consultants, we need to remember to thank our clients. I have done several things over the years, but a couple come to my mind. I have a client who has a finance person I work with close; she develops the list of tasks to be completed for submission, the budget, etc. I try to always remember her on International Grant Professionals Day with flowers or a note or some little treat. She doesn't think of herself as a grant pro, but she is an indispensable part of my success with her organization.

    Last Christmas, I sent cozy, cute socks to another client. They are off during the holidays, so I made sure to get them there early in the month. Now, this is a client I have known for years, so...

    And, if a client has a new grandbaby, I always send a fun board book and encourage them to start their own grandparents' library. Literacy everywhere!! I sometimes send those little cloth books that you put pictures in -- and encourage them to put their own pictures in so their grandchild can "read" about granny and granddad. [Note: Bette Midler co-wrote a book about ducks. If you're gifting a baby boomer, this might be a good one, too!]

    Johna Rodgers, GPC

    Owner, Principal Consultant | Johna Rodgers Consulting, LLC

    [email protected] |


  • Gratitude is not only proper to do; it can be very simple. Sadly, many NPOs are after the funds and do not follow up until they ask again. Taking the time to say Thank You should be automatic. It makes the donor feel valued and more likely to give again and give more significant donations. All of us want to feel connected!

    Colleagues, remember, there is a lot of competition. If you do not connect with donors, your competitor will!

  • We had a great discussion with @EphraimGopin during his webinar 'Take My Breath Away: Building Relationships One Thank You at a Time'. And in addition to the 13 ways to show gratitude - there were so many great follow up questions (and answers!). If you weren't able to attend and stay for the extended Q&A period - you can catch it all on the recording. Thank you again Ephraim!

    #gratitude, #fundraising, #relationships, #thankyou

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