Are You Truly Thankful for Your Donors?
The surgery was a success, and within a short period of time, Roy was out of the hospital and made a full recovery. This experience changed Roy's life. He realized how precious life was, and he was so thankful to the doctor and the hospital for saving his life he gave them a check for $100,000 in gratitude.
The hospital's foundation sent him a nice thank-you letter with a handwritten note on it from the vice president of advancement. Roy thought that was fine, but he was also hoping to hear from the doctor who saved his life.
Roy and his wife were invited to attend the annual gala for the hospital. Again, because he felt such affinity toward the hospital, he agreed to buy a $100,000 table and invited 10 of his friends to join them.
His surgeon was even one of the speakers, but Roy never had the chance to meet him that night. Some young lady from development did come by his table and asked him if he was having a nice time, but there was nothing meaningful that happened.
Over the course of the year, Roy heard nothing from the hospital. He went in for checkups, but another physician always handled it. After that, all he received from the hospital were annual reports and invitations to events.
Tragically, that year, one of his grandchildren needed emergency surgery and the local children's hospital saved his grandchild's life. Out of gratitude, Roy gave the hospital a $10,000 gift. The next day, the CEO of the hospital called Roy and thanked him profusely for his gift and invited him to tour the hospital. That relationship grew … and grew.
Five years later, Roy died of heart failure. In his estate not only did he take care of his immediate family, but he also left the children's hospital $100 million. The largest gift this hospital had ever received. And, the only gift to charity that Roy left in his estate.
Jeff Schreifels is the principal owner of Veritus Group — an agency that partners with nonprofits to create, build and manage mid-level fundraising, major gifts and planned giving programs. In his 32-plus year career, Jeff has worked with hundreds of nonprofits, helping to raise more than $400 million in revenue.