Sometimes there’s a gap between receiving money from donors and spending it – the space between, where something that says Thank You should be. I don’t know whether there are any statistics about it, but from conversations with fundraising colleagues and unofficial tests it seems a lot of non-profits – maybe even a majority – miss this critical step.


I suspect that sometimes, staff and volunteers are already so busy delivering services and getting money in the door that they aren’t able to put together any kind of donor recognition.

I also suspect that in some cases, good intentions get stuck behind lack of money and energy; no time to do it well, so it doesn’t get done at all.

I’ve been there; we all want what we do to be of high quality and look professional. But I’m beginning to believe that point of view can be wrong; it misses the point.

Sometimes the unpolished, the unprofessional, isn’t just all you need. It’s already perfect.

Remarkable ways to say Merci

Thank You, from Small Change FundI love getting mail from people and organizations I like. So I was thrilled to get a postcard one day from Small Change Fund – an organization I’ve written about and supported in the past.

I had made a small donation, and received this about the advocacy campaign I’d funded: “You rock and Fisher Bay is now a provincial park!”. Woohoo – I made a difference!

What more does your donor really need to know?

Earlier this week I learned about an organization called Fugees Family, an organization created by one woman who saw a need and decided to do something about it; Luma Mufleh is building a community around kids – refugee children now in the U.S. – who’ve survived war and are rebuilding their lives one step at a time.

Luma’s work has received a fair amount of attention lately; I read about it through blogger Marjorie Clayman (@MargieClayman) who is on a blogging hiatus until she reaches her goal: 400,000 new donors for this organization. I made a small contribution, and today in my email I found this.

It’s not flashy or seamlessly produced, it’s simple and real. It’s very sweet. And it gets the point across: Thank You.

What remarkable Thank Yous have you seen? Please share in the comments!