This is a wonderful time of year. I am always amazed about how much charity happens in these last few days of the year. What also is noteworthy is how many charities rely on year-end giving. We’ve been trained to think of year-end giving but it really is the season of giving and that goes both ways with donor appreciation and the stewardship of relationships.
A few years back, I was working with a human services organization in Michigan, and they had spent the previous six months in failed attempts to meet a major donor. I suggested that the ED (who liked to cook) bake some cookies, wrap them up and wish the donor a very Merry Christmas. There was no intent other than to say “thank you” for their gifts as donor appreciation and to let them know they were important to this organization. The ED dropped the cookies off and had a casual conversation with the donor. It led to the long sought-after meeting and a five-year commitment of $500,000. Another client brought a case of nice red wine and personally stopped by his top 20 donor’s homes to drop off a bottle as a donor appreciation gift along with a note. Sometimes it is the simple things that still work — letting people know that they are genuinely important to you.
People are starting to slow down and focus more on family, friends, down time and goals for next year. What is it that you or your leadership can do in the next 30 days that would be meaningful to that select group of donors/volunteers who are always there for you?
You can have everything in life you want,
if you will just help other people get what they want.
Founder and Chairman