Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brilliance Embedded in Simplicity

I receive a good many communications from nonprofits I give to. Some of them are good, a few great, but sometimes I'm really delighted. I'd like to share a few of those with you today. The first one is a postcard from my local YMCA. Many of you know how much I love postcards as thank yous. Heck, I prefer them over solicitations in envelopes (of which I have two entire shoeboxes full but that's another blog for another day). A letter in an envelope is just so predictable, and no matter how many times your text says thank you, there's usually an ask slid in there somewhere. This postcard effectively communicates the power of the collective of donations and why mine matters. It also puts the donor at the center of the effort, not the organization... Good work Greater Charlotte YMCA.

The next one is another simply elegant postcard from Whitworth university that students fill out a hand written note on and send to their faculty and staff donors. The images of students are relevant  and the message is clear. It also allows for the none thing donors want most, personal, hand written thank yous. Kudos Whitworthians.

The third I received in an envelope with my tax receipt for the American Heart Association Heart Ball I attended a week ago. It was a great addition to the letter and showed the direct impact of my and others giving to the event and the lives it would change.  I would have liked it even more had it been on the back of my receipt so they wouldn't have wasted an extra sheet of paper, but hey, I'm a thrifty lady! Also, most folks keep the receipt, so if this was on the back, it would have stayed with them as well, not ended up as recycling. Although generic, the message is simple, your gift had an impact. I'm hoping for their higher level donors, that they did custom pieces from the families we met that evening who told their stories and tugged at our heart strings. I hope a lot. 

Finally, my colleague and friend Dianne at the University of Idaho shyly showed me this brilliant endowment report two weeks ago in Vancouver. My eyes widened as I explored it's brilliance. It was elegant, concise and relayed an impact that was clear as crystal. I'm proud of her and I hope she's proud too, because it took her a great deal of effort to revamp her reports there and wow, look at the brilliant payoff! I now have a west coast example of great endowment reports to share, go visit the folks at Idaho! they're rocking it.

What have you seen lately that you admire? What's on your brag board that you'd like others to see? Send it my way or tell me about it in the comments and I'll share on my website for everyone to enjoy.


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