A Secret to Success in Relationships and Fundraising
I have slacked off. Shortchanged something I did for decades. Something that made me feel good. It made a lot of folks feel really good.
That thing is writing personal notes. My parents got me started. For decades I wrote at least five personal, handwritten notes a week. Some years it probably averaged 20 a week.
Today, I received a handwritten note from a friend, and it prompted me to renew that commitment. It was beautifully written on nice stationery. She was congratulating me for serving on a board of a regional leadership group. My friend closed the note, "on a personal note, thank you for all you do, each and every day, to make a difference in our community!"
How kind! Well, it made me feel special and want to do more.
If that note was from a college or nonprofit I support, it would have had the same impact: me feeling even better about that organization and wanting to do more.
In the fundraising arena, the discipline of a handwritten note, each week and even better each day, goes far. Showing gratitude is a big part of what we need to do — must do — to be successful.
Showing gratitude is also a lot of fun!
So, whether it is to donors (well, it sure better be), volunteers, colleagues ... or friends in the community, take 15 minutes each day or an hour or two each week and reach out to those who have made an impact on you or your organization that week.
Many donors have everything money can buy. For them — and all of us — a sincere note of thanks, encouragement, congratulations, concern, etc., means a lot. Handwritten notes are a secret weapon ... a secret to success in relationships and fundraising.
And, in this age of texting, emails and social media, they stand out more than ever.
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.