More than a thank you note.
Recently a fundraising friend shared an article about a major university donor that was breaking up with educational institution. The donor, a woman, was the largest donor the university has had in its history. Why the breakup? The University did not acknowledge the death of the donor’s mother. The donor felt slighted. Do you blame her? The death of her mother. We don’t know everything about all of our donors and chances are there have been deaths in your donor family that you don’t know about. That said, you major donors are your close-knit family. They are more than a simple thank you note once a year. Major donors you should have a little more information on, Board members, even more information. A few years ago we had a major donor get married, I recommended we send flowers, the President agreed and we made that happen. The same year, we had a Board member have back surgery, again, we sent flowers. Another time, we had a major donor have a “big” birthday, we created a birthday card and had as many employees sign it. Every Hallmark holiday is an excuse for you, the fundraiser, the relationship builder, the face of the organization, to wish your major donors a “Happy Memorial Weekend”, “Happy 4th of July”, or simply choose random donors throughout the year and send an email on Friday to 10 donors and say “Have a nice weekend”. Do you follow my thinking here? Your donors, board members, volunteers and staff need to know you mean more to them their donation. We are all more than a thank you note.