Written by Pam Brown, ACC, CFRE
Last week I visited with a long-time supporter of Insight Counseling Centers. Her support goes all the way back to our agency’s founding more than 30 years ago. Insight recently received a shipment of coffee mugs and I wanted her to have one. I put together an arrangement of flowers and greenery from my garden so that the mug could serve as a cute little vase.
When I arrived at the appointed time, her face lit up at seeing the arrangement. She invited me to have a seat and we visited for about a half hour. As I got up to leave, I casually mentioned that I planned to make another “mug arrangement” to give a friend of hers who also has a history with our agency. Her response was one that has stuck with me and I’ve thought about daily.
“People want to be remembered.”
That supporter is absolutely correct.
A few days later I had a meeting with a fellow nonprofit leader. She told me that she had recently made five donations to various nonprofits and had not yet received one thank you letter. Perhaps her gifts were below the amount that must be acknowledged according to federal regulations. But here’s the heart of the matter. We do not thank donors for their gifts because of a requirement. We do it because showing appreciation is the right thing to do.
These two conversations have caused me to re-commit to making sure people feel remembered. There will be times I miss the mark, but you can be sure I’ll keep working at it.
Pam Brown is Insight Counseling Center’s Executive Director. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive and an Associate Certified Coach. She can be reached at email@example.com