It’s the holiday season and time for many reasons to say heartfelt appreciation to your supporters. How is it going?
For decades a very odd sacred cow of many United Ways is the belief we can’t thank all our supporters without undue expense, or worse, that a poster hung on a wall or an email blast gets the job done.
Thousands of donors in every community go un-thanked as they’re confined behind the walls (literal walls and fire walls) of their workplaces. The relevant United Way has done away with this sacred cow and works year-round to say thanks to all of their supporters.
Here’s a 90 day Jump Starter – from the Holidays forward!
- Put the paper work down and call every volunteer, every campaign coordinator that spent time on United Way this year. Call them. Express your appreciation, and wish them well. Voicemails are ok. Your authentic voice is better than email. Just call.
- Debrief: There’s no better way to show appreciation than to ask your supporters to debrief recent experience with you, especially if you truly want them to enjoy working with you. Set a meeting in the 1st quarter, and please don’t ask for anything other than their opinion.
- Set a 2018 strategy to ‘thank x donors in a meaningful way’, and I don’t mean the ones you already reach. Recruit people in the workplace as partners, and make it part of your engagement plan.
- Schedule a spring roundtable of supporters that want to say thanks well! Most workplaces have some type of Employee Engagement objective around recognition of their employees, yet many struggle for good ideas. Help them and you by inviting like-minded companies to the table. They’ll appreciate you for it!
- Ask workplaces to help you thank donors of xx years or more. Many workplaces really like the idea and they’ll help you pull it off. Win-win!
Remember: Great charities thank their supporters all the time and in meaningful ways. You can either stand out by thanking people well, or stand out by not. Good luck!