Tag: grateful

An unforgettable thank you

Thinking about my experiences of how my organization has thanked donors, or how organizations I support have thanked me, there is an unforgettable experience that is at the top of the list.

I had made an ask of a donor who had not donated in three years. They hadn’t responded to anything I had sent. Add to this that they had donated before my time with the organization and didn’t know me.

One day I was making a call and the donor accidentally picked up the phone. They were in a rush to get out of the house with the kids, and could not speak. I asked if I could email them what I was going to speak about, and they said yes!

I emailed the ask. They had a couple of questions which I responded to quickly and soon they decided to give again. They doubled the size of their already large first gift. What a wonderful experience.

I asked my board chair to call them to thank them. This was a common occurence for me and them, so my board chair knew what to do and made the call.

The donor answered!

Immediately after the call, the donor called ME!

They said they had given hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past many years, to several organizations, and had never received a thank you call from a board chair. This of course made my heart swell, mainly because they were taking the time to thank me, and share how they felt about an action that was common place for our fundraising team.

I left that organization to create Altrui, and am ecstatic that that donor continues to generously give.

A simple thank you can catapult your relationships with your donor.

Thanks for reading!

Keep thanking

The photo is of a thank you card for donors.

It’s already mid-December. You’re watching donations come in supporting your appeals, attending holiday gatherings, and trying to get in front of as many donors as possible for that ever-valued year-end donation.

With everything that is going on, keep thanking your donors. Keep the calls up, keep the impact stories going, and keep making sure that your donors know what it means for them to donate.

That their donation changes the world. For someone. Or something.

As my family makes donations this month I’m unfortunately surprised by how many organizations, especially the ones we have donated to for many years, don’t take the time to just say thank you.

I get it. They are busy. There’s a lot going on. And at the same time the proof is in the pudding: when we thank donors right away, let them know how we spent their donation, and then how that donation impacted our mission, we have a huge chance that the donor will donate again.

And our life-long relationship begins (or continues!).

Some of my clients have a couple of people on staff who make calls, others engage their volunteers (Including board) to help with the expressions of gratitude. You don’t need to do this alone. Ask for help if needed.

The time you spend doing this is definitely worth it, and will make a difference.

Thank you for reading!

Thank you for two years of Altrui!

Today I am celebrating two years of Altrui Consulting and am filled with gratitude!

Two years ago I left the job I thought I would retire from, created a website that included a few thoughts on how I might be able to help nonprofits with relationship building and fundraising, and Altrui was born.

Although I had been in the nonprofit fundraising world for many years, the worlds of consulting and running my own business were all new to me. There is a long list of lessons over the past two years, and every day I learn something.

It’s been a magical road. I have loved every minute of it. While Altrui I have grown, we’ve been honored to work with nonprofits that are making the world a better, safer place. Their impact inspires me every day, and I am lucky to be a part of their work.

My thank-you list is extensive. If you have supported me in any way, thank you. That means a kind word, a warm welcome, sharing your experience, listening, a retweet, a kind comment on LinkedIn, or if you are one of hundreds whom I have learned from. I am forever grateful for that and happy to have you in my life.

I am ecstatic to see what year three brings!

Thank you all!

Action 2: Express gratitude

Make sure everyone who supports you, in whatever way, knows how grateful you are for that support. This is our second action to take in building stronger relationships with donors or customers.

Gratitude can be expressed in many ways. An instant email after a donation or sale does not count. A quick check in upon leaving your restaurant or their volunteering at your nonprofit do count. Knowledge of your gratitude goes a long way.

In the world of nonprofit fundraising some of my best practices include a thank you call as quickly as possible after the donation has been received. This delights the donor, and instantly strengthens the relationship between donor and nonprofit.

Another way to express gratitude is to let the donor know how their donation was spent. Donors love to know their impact, and a quick note from someone at the nonprofit letting them know of their impact goes a long way. Remember that we are talking about building a lifelong relationship with the donor.

An example of gratitude expressed I love sharing was an experience at a restaurant when a manager swung by our table to thank us for supporting them. This is a place we have continued to order from since the start of the pandemic, and the manager thanked us for all of that and let us know what that meant to them.

You don’t need a budget line item to express gratitude. It doesn’t have to cost you financially. And it definitely pays off.

Thanks for reading.

Volunteering and volunteers

I am writing this post from Tijuana, Mexico, where I am spending the week volunteering. This is the first time I have been back to Tijuana since March, when it became more difficult to border cross due to COVID.

My volunteer days are long here. Plus it’s hot, and most spaces I’m in I’m lucky to have a fan. And yet each morning I walk to work or am on my way home I am filled with this intense gratitude for being able to be here in this moment and serve others.

While down here I’ve had time to think about volunteers, and how we as nonprofits treat them. Or look at them. For example, as one who focuses on fundraising and relationship building, is it wrong to consider volunteers as potential donors?

No way!

Do it. Ask them. Ask us. I donate to every nonprofit where I volunteer. In many cases I ask my friends and family to donate as well. I honor those who volunteer and view their time volunteering as how they give, and my experience tells me that most volunteers want to give when offered the opportunity to support at another level. Many volunteers are never even asked to give.

It’s also important to keep in good communication with your volunteers. Share the impact of their work. Thank them. Make sure they know how grateful you are for their time and work. Kind of like how you treat, say, donors! Yes, that’s exactly right!

The importance of volunteers is talked about a lot in our circles. It’s important to walk the walk with volunteers and ensure they are treated like the rock stars they are.

Thanks for volunteering. I mean for reading!

With deep gratitude

This post is all about gratitude. A huge thank you to so many who have supported me and the growth of Altrui. March is my sixth month in business and a good time to say thank you.

Thank you for being by my side. For continually reminding me that I got this, and that I can rock this.

Thank you to all of my peers in consulting who have taking time out of your busy schedules to answer my questions and give me direction.

Thank you to all of those accountants on social media who have gently educated me on what I need to be doing in regards to my accounting. Because of you I have an accountant and a QuickBooks account!

Thank you to all of my fellow nonprofit fundraising professionals who have so much experience in the consulting side of this and have constantly reached out to offer support.

Huge thanks to all of you who have recommended me and Altrui! Because of you I am working with more clients that I expected I would be with such a short time in the business.

Thank you to all of my clients! You have entrusted your fundraising to me and I will never forget that. I am forever grateful.

And thank you to everyone who has connected with my on social media. Altrui is new on Instagram and Facebook, and having support on these platforms as I grow is super helpful.

Sending big love and gratitude.

Thanks for reading!


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