By Kent Warkentin

For as long as I can remember, I have been taught to say “thank you” - for a variety of reasons. Now that I am involved in coaching professionals who are leading non-profits, an attitude of appreciation and gratitude is incredibly important for them. Consider the following:

  • A major donor can not be thanked enough! Letters, calls, a text, or email from the Board Chair, or meaningful time together are all ways to thank special friends of your organization. There is no substitute for appreciating one’s sacrificial and generous giving.
  • Some employees or volunteers simply go way above and beyond the call of duty. There is no better way to encourage that ongoing effort than to offer some type of heart-felt thank you - as many times as it is warranted!
  • There may be lean times during a non-profit’s journey - even during those times, it costs very little to organize a thank you campaign and reach out to constituents who have been a part of your organization and continue to be faithful. Also, it is a good way to boost moral and positively impact the culture of your non-profit.
  • Schools and other non-profits need to have a well-thought out and developed appreciation/donor acknowledgement policy - one that addresses who is involved in the process; what type of gift is being acknowledged; when the gift should be appreciated after receipt; and how donors are thanked. This helps with a systematic approach to saying “thank you” and encourages the cycle of appreciation to be ongoing and never forgotten.
  • Create a donor thank you portion in at least one of your annual newsletters or annual reports. Ensure that every donor is mentioned and thanked appropriately.
  • Thank the vendors and service people, administrative staff and management - the more we show gratitude for people’s efforts, the better chance we have of a positive work culture, a motivated staff, and job satisfaction leading to productivity.
~ Kent