Call Me Maybe

February 14, 2013

valentinesToday is Valentine’s Day, a most loved day (or annoying day if you’re like my sweet husband, who thinks it’s all about greeting card companies).

I love it. And I can’t lie, I do love those greeting cards.

In the spirit of love and the idea that we want love from our most important nonprofit audiences—donors, volunteers, board members, funders—let’s talk about the power of gratitude.

The absolute best way to keep that love flowing and remain in the good graces of your supporters is to be generous with your thanks.

  • Just say it.
    Do you call, e-mail, or send your supporters a (greeting) card ONLY for the purpose of saying thanks—not to ask for something else?  March 5 & 6 is a great time to try it out. It’s also a smart way to engage your board members. Nothing feels more special than a call or note from a board member expressing appreciation for support. And your board member will feel awesome too. It’s a big love fest for everyone involved.
  •  Just listen.
    How often do you ask your supporters how you are doing on your mission work, your communication and your appeals? Find out what they like and what you could do better. Constructive feedback is sometimes difficult, but when people trust you enough to share it, you can take that as a huge compliment itself.
  • Just do it.
    When it makes sense to do so, put that good feedback into place so that your donors and supporters can see you are responsive to them.

By the way, as a presenting partner, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County is proud to administer the 36-Hour Giving Challenge, but the forthcoming display of local philanthropy will be a result of many funders coming together to make it possible.

Have you reached out to the president & CEO of presenting partner The Patterson Foundation and to the presidents/CEOs of sponsors Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, Charlotte Community Foundation and William G. and Marie Selby Foundation to thank them for their support?

If you don’t know who to contact, I encourage you to do a little online research and send a heartfelt note of thanks. (I’ve taken the liberty of providing links that you can simply click on!)

Disclaimer: This suggestion for thanks is unsolicited by the Giving Challenge funders, but believe me, people remember when you take the time to say it.

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


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