I have no idea how others maneuver their thank yous. Especially in the case of fund raising. I imagine it goes a little something like this – a pre-printed thank you card (bought in bulk at a big box store), a quick scrawled signature, a slapped-on stamp, sent within days of the donation.
The pros of this technique – quick turnaround. The donor gets receipt of the money spent on a good cause and the fund raiser doesn’t have to think about thanking him or her again until next year. It’s quick and easy and requires little thought.
The cons – cookie cutter and typical.
It’s the cons that keep me away from this technique. As a result my thank you goes a little something like this – art paper, scissors, glue, ribbons, stickers, cards (yes, bought from the big box store) and colored pens. I sit on the floor and cut and glue and decorate and reread every donor letter. Who did I walk in honor of? That name goes in the card. It’s why they donated, after all. How many years has this donor supported me? I acknowledge that as well. I say something about the walk. I say something about what the donor means to me. Last but not least, I say thank you. Thank you. The card doesn’t say it for me. I write it out. Thank. You.
This year I decided to do something different. For the donors who gave for five years in a row and donated over $100 each time I bought a bottle of wine. I took a chance and prayed I knew their palate.
And, and. And! Just to say it I sent oversized thank yous to people behind the scenes. They didn’t donate in my name, but they made the walk that much more enjoyable for me. All the more reason for me to thank them!
The cons of this technique? I’m slow. Each card takes me 15-20 minutes, sometimes longer. I worry my lack of quick response indicates ingratitude. But, I have to keep this in mind: everyone likes to be acknowledged. Everyone wants to be recognized for their good deed, large or small. In taking the time to personally personalize these cards I am saying I am grateful for all that you do. I am honored to walk for your loved one. I thank you.