What is considered "best practice" when receiving a significant gift from a donor?
What a great day when we hear the news that our organization has just received a significant gift! This is cause for great celebration among the development team, the staff and the Board. These gifts will make a huge impact on the organization and how it will fulfill its mission. They often allow an organization to think big and allow for those dreams we’ve had to become a reality!
So, how do we convey this to our donors? How do we thank them in a way that makes them feel that their investment makes a difference?
Sometimes the news of a lead gift is shared directly with us – when we are meeting with a donor face to face to ask them to consider an investment in a program or project. Or, a gift is made a bit down the road after we’ve asked and the donor has been contemplating what they would like to do. And, there are also times when an unexpected gift arrives and is truly a joyful surprise.
Regardless of how a major gift is received, one thing remains steady, we must thank our donors in an authentic and personal way. Below are best practices for acknowledging a lead gift:
Thanking a donor for a major investment is one of the most fun and rewarding parts of our job. I hope this year ahead we all find ourselves busier than ever with this important part of our work.
Happy New Year!
For this post, we are not answering a reader’s question; we are simply wishing you a happy, healthy and safe 2022. And while COVID continues to drag on, we hope that you have found a “new normal” and are able to start the year off with hope and positivity. Allow us to share a few highlights from the past year with you…
The Use of Zoom (yes, this is a highlight)
Despite our collective Zoom fatigue, it is worth remembering that this technology is still relatively new – and exceptionally useful. It has literally changed the way in which we can all work, and mostly for the better.
The Opportunity to Rethink How We Spend Time
The past year has given us all permission to reconsider the traditional structure of our workday. Need to help your child with e-learning at 9a? No problem. Want to get out of the house for a midday walk? Do it. The old adage, “As long as the work gets done…” has never been more true – or supported.
The Opportunity to Rethink Events
What nonprofits discovered during COVID is that you don’t need to be in person – or even have an event – to inspire people to give. For many organizations, the opportunity to truly rethink events has been a game-changer. One client made the decision early in the pandemic not to host a single event in 2021. Instead, they used their time and resources to thoughtfully connect with donors – by phone and via Zoom – a process that costs no money. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and they were still able to meet their aggressive fundraising goal.
People are generous. They are compassionate. They want to help. The pandemic heightened people’s awareness of others’ challenges. Donors donated. And my guess is that most nonprofits gained a few new donors along the way.
So take these “wins” into 2022 and continue to find ways to appreciate these and build upon them in the new year. Cheers!
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