This past week, we saw gratitude come full circle on a national stage. Jordan Spieth won the Masters on Sunday. And soon after his note of thanks for his high school scholarship became public on social media. In it he mentions his dream of winning the Masters. He also expresses his genuine gratitude to his donors. I am sure they were proud then, and I'm sure they swell with pride now.
This note alone is another reinforcement of why it is so important for us to encourage others to express their gratitude. When I survey donors, time and time again, the one thing they want 8 times more than any other donor relations communication is a thank you note from the recipient of their generosity. We can do this each and every time if we try. If we can't have the note come from the direct recipient, we can have one from their family or their community. We could also have one from a board member or a volunteer.
I believe it is essential to begin every board meeting by having all board members write 5 hand written thank you notes to donors. It instills a culture of gratitude and helps retention greatly. It also shows board members that for those who don't want to ask for money, thanking donors for their generosity is just as, if not more important. Do you have your board members do this? It's a great activity for all involved.
Want a great gift to help people understand the power of Gratitude, try this book from my friend Jennifer Richwine. It's powerful and a wonderful guide on why the thank you note is so special and how to write one effectively and beautifully.
This is my favorite thing in my office I keep and cherish each and every one I've ever been sent:
I look for this when hiring people in our profession too. I often ask the last time they wrote a hand written thank you note. If they give me a blank stare and fumble, I know this isn't my hire. If they tell me in detail about a note they recently wrote, that's a good sign. How do you assess an attitude of gratitude and build that into your culture? How can we reinforce the power of a thank you note?
I would love to hear from you.