Thank you, thank you, thank you.

This is just a reminder: thank those who make what you do possible.

“Thank you” is one of those simple must-dos, one so simple, in fact, that we sometimes overlook it.  And it’s too bad, because showing the sincere appreciation of an organization, the people who run it, and the people who benefit from it is a basic step in energizing donors.

This fundamental of doing more with less is one tip from Nancy Lublin’s Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business, released last week.  In her Fast Company column, Lubin provides tips for effective businesses from the book, largely pulled from her experience as CEO and “Chief Old Person” of the nonprofit Do Something.org.

Saying thank you, Lublin says, shows that you care.

“Thoughtfulness isn’t just good policy; it’s an effective means of winning people over. When people feel respected, they quickly become fans, friends, and stakeholders.” 

And a lot of it is follow up.

If a sponsor gave free muffins for a downtown event, putting their logo on the food table is one form of acknowledgement.  Having a board member stop by their shop to say thanks is another, more personal form.  And if you really want to make that donor feel a part of the event and your success, connect them with the outcomes. 

Try something like this as you stop in for coffee one day: “Because of your sponsorship, we were able to offer a free community celebration for 350 people after the clean up day.  We collected 520 bags of trash.  Here’s a picture of some of the dedicated volunteers eating muffins after the event. Thank you for all that you do in our community.” 

Not only will the donor be willing to give the next time you ask, but he or she will help spread the work about the success of the event and the ability of your organization to rally resources. Share your tips for connecting donors to your work by sending them to: Douglas.Jackson@dhcd.virginia.org.

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