You don’t have to be in the fundraising business long before you hear about the importance of — no, the critical importance of — thanking people for their gifts immediately.
The gold standard for thank you notes is a 24-hour turn around.
While I like to be thanked promptly, being thanked again, long after the gift has a special power.
A Surprise in My Mail
Two years ago, I sent some money to a Kickstarter project involving a group of kids in my South Bronx neighborhood making masks, writing a script, and creating a video. I received a thank you note from Amelia Saul, the project director, shortly after making my gift. And then some months later, I was invited to a screening of the video but was unable to attend.
I figured that was that.
Money given. Money spent. Project done.
But last month in the mail, two years later, arrived the print shown above with an inscription on the lower right corner saying simply, “Thanks, Andrea.” Tucked in the mailing tube was a lovely hand written note from Amelia telling me what a difference my gift had made to her and to the project.
The Power of Being Remembered
That recognition resonated with me because of the delay, not in spite of it. I was touched that I hadn’t been forgotten just because my money was spent and the project was done.
Amelia had taken the time to do something more. And it touched my heart.
As you can see, I had the print framed and now Maria, the young girl in the photograph, looks out me through the eye hole in her mask.
Maria’s mask almost covers up the words on hand written on her shirt, “Dream Big.”
I hope she does. That would be the greatest reward.
Let someone know they made a difference to you.
Think back to a time when someone helped you. Find a way to let them know you remember them and the difference they made in your life.
Have you had an experience of delayed gratification? Of being remembered for something you did long ago?
Tell me about it in the comments below.