This non-profit professional loves Thanksgiving! Yes, as you can tell from my picture, I love the epicurean delights that grace my table for this holiday. However, what I really love has almost nothing to do with food . . . it is the idea of taking time to simply say “thank you” that really appeals to my inner non-profit soul. It is for this reason I believe Thanksgiving is quintessentially a non-profit holiday.
What are you doing this Thanksgiving holiday to reach out to your donors and volunteers and express your thanks and gratitude?
When I worked for the Boy Scouts more than a decade ago, I found tremendous joy in cooking a full-blown Thanksgiving meal for my District Committee. Mmmmmm . . . I remember it as if it were just yesterday. Turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, beans, rolls, dutch oven cobbler . . . prepared and served with my own two hands in the church basement we used to meet every month.
After feeding 50 of my best donors and volunteers, I relished the opportunity to take 2- or 3-minutes and tell them how thankful I was for their help and support. I also highlighted a handful of our collective successes from the last year.
Years later, as I worked with local Boys & Girls Club affiliates throughout the Midwest region, we worked on developing “thank-a-thon” events to steward donors around the Thanksgiving holiday. This was simply a handful of board volunteers who were armed with a list of donors, short script, and telephone. The message was short and sweet . . .
- thank you for your support,
- your support made a difference,
- we accomplished X/Y/Z and couldn’t have done it without the support of caring and generous people like you,
- we hope we can continue to count on your support in the future, and
- this Thanksgiving we give thanks for people like you. Enjoy the holidays!
What are your personal plans to steward board volunteers, donors and volunteers this holiday season? I see many non-profits doing something. So, please take 30-seconds and share your favorite Thanksgiving stewardship activity of all time. If you’re a volunteer or donor, please share the best Thanksgiving stewardship activity that your favorite non-profit has ever included you in. We can all learn from each other . . . but that requires using the comment box below to share. Please?
Here is to your health! Enjoy your Thanksgiving with both your immediate family as well as your non-profit family. 🙂
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC