Don't forget to say Thank YouA woman had regularly donated $5,000 a year to a medium size non-profit. Every year the Executive Director had called her up and made a point to thank her, catch up on her life and let her know what the organization was going to do with the money.

As part of a cost cutting exercise, new management decided that an automatic email acknowledgement would be sufficient. The intent was to free up staff time so that new donors could be found, grants written and programs managed.

Donors Can Do What They Like!

After the annual campaign delivered less than the previous year, it became clear that some of their larger donors had not responded. The new Development Director was tasked with finding out what had happened. After several unreturned calls, she finally got hold of the woman and asked her whether she had received the annual request.

There is no such thing as small changeThe woman had no compunction in telling the Director that, quite frankly, she felt slighted; that despite the size of her annual gift and years of support she no longer warranted anything more than an automatic email. Not only that, she had fallen in love with a new organization who “…call me all the time, let me know what they’re doing and make me feel really, really, appreciated.

The Lesson

Giving is always a choice; larger and more considered gifts are the result of the donor determining that you are a good place for their support AND that you are aware of their choice. The fact that they chose to support you, no matter how large or small, needs to be celebrated.

The vast majority of major donors begin with gifts as low as $100 – you can never say Thank You enough!

Got a war story of your own? Leave it in the comments below.
If you’d like some help with planning a fundraising event, get in touch.

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This is part 8 of an 8 part series in "What not to do when planning your Fundraising event".

1 – Death, Taxes and the other Unavoidable, the Weather
2 – I Love Planning Parties!
3 – Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan, then Drink
4 – Volunteers are Not Paid Staff
5 – Not Managing the Schedule
6 – Not Managing the Date
7 – Not Thinking of the Small Picture

Image Credits:
Thank you Card by Jon Ashcroft on Flickr
My Life List. Repost. by Globetoppers on Flickr