December 4, 2010

Tom and I received a personal thank-you note from NCLR, where we give what we consider to be lots of money. (Remember, the donor decides what is a major gift!) There’s always a personal handwritten note at the bottom, even though we’ve never met the executive director. And the executive director does these regular telephone conversations with donors. Call in and you can participate – what great cultivation.

NCLR thank-you letters make me feel special; like our investment matters; like we matter, too. And that future investments will matter always.

Here’s how the letter starts: “Thank you for your generous gift. While we’ve had incredible successes in 2010, it is only honest to admit that it’s also been a difficult year — one that will stay with us, especially those of us who believe in the humanity of others.

“I am so grateful that we have each other to help through these ongoing struggles for justice and fairness. It is inspiring to all of us to have your faith and commitment.”

Here’s a really powerful: “Your support makes every victory possible and every defeat a bit easier to pick ourselves up from.”

I make every victory possible. Yes, me. I have that kind of impact and power. And my gift makes it easier to fight again after a defeat.

And how about this: “We see how difficult times are for so many who we help. Your unstinting commitment is the only way we can be here, day in and day out.” If I stop giving, it’s harder for NCLR to keep going. The fact that I keep giving – even in times that may be difficult for me – means that NCLR will be there, day in and day out. I’m pretty proud of that.

What’s in your thank-you notes?


About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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