Who Do You Need to Thank?


gratitude blog graphic

This month we are contemplating gratitude. Thanksgiving is a month away... how will you prepare to show your donors that you're thankful for all they do?


Who Do You Need to Thank?

Gratitude is a topic we return to quite often, and for good reason. It’s about being thankful (an internal focus) and also about showing appreciation and returning kindness (an external focus). If we stop at the internal and only feel thankful and grateful without pursuing the external display of thankfulness, people may be left wondering where we stand!

Boards and Committees

Your policy volunteers spend countless hours leveraging their connections and expertise to advance the mission and reach of your organization. Find time to have coffee and one-on-one conversations to find out how you can serve them better. Consider a small gift like an insulated travel mug with your logo. This keeps them reminded of you and can be a great conversation starter for them out in the community.


Your organization is amazing at delivering on the mission, but you probably don’t do it alone. You may run afterschool programs in the local schools or day camps at local parks. You may partner with nutritionists or social workers. Whether these groups are providing space and services at no charge, low charge or market rates, they are crucial to your overall success. Make sure they know and celebrate your combined impact on the community.



Hopefully you have a robust program for thanking donors. Consider inviting them to see the programs they support in action to bring their donations to life. Turning dollars and cents into real people is invaluable in telling your best story. If you missed that opportunity this summer, then be sure to work it into your plan for next year while finding ways to get your donors close in the meantime.


Finally, what about your staff? Most people go into non-profit work for the mission not the money. But that doesn’t mean they will stay where they don’t feel appreciated. Recruiting and training staff is more difficult than ever. You can’t afford to lose the wonderful people you have on your staff already because of a lack of gratitude. Acknowledge how hard they work, highlight their success in front of their peers, say thank you and think about what you can improve around wages and benefits. Can you lower deductibles on health plans? Can you hold the employee contribution for family benefits flat? It’s likely that a genuine effort will be appreciated and you may find you can do more than you think!

Who do you need to thank?

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Posted by Brian Keel
Brian Keel

Written by Brian Keel

Serving as Of Counsel, Brian brings nearly 25 years of leadership experience gained both in for-profit and non-profit organizations. This background gives him a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in non-profit financial management.

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