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Gratitude: the quality of being grateful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness.

Gratitude is the quality we should show our donors. Why? Because we are grateful for their financial support. Because their dollars allow us to do the work we love and serve others who need our help.

Our donors have shown their kindness by giving their money and their time. Without donors how would we do our work? How would we serve those in public hospitals, after-school programs, or shelters for the abused and homeless?

Gratitude doesn’t cost us much. Lack of gratitude costs us donors.

Donors who feel appreciated will share the good news about your organization. Donors who don’t will share their negative feelings. Showing gratitude connects to my earlier blogs about donor communications and the importance of making time for phone calls and personal visits.

Expressing your gratitude to your donors takes time and effort. But as a professional fundraiser, that’s part of your job. It’s also your job to remind others (and sometimes train them how) to demonstrate their gratitude to donors.

Use your scheduled touch points to express your gratitude, thank your donors, and keep them informed. Treat your donors as you would like to be treated.  Or consider how you would like your parents and loved ones to be treated. With respect and kindness, right? That’s how you should always treat your donors: with respect and kindness.

Remember they are supporting your work, your mission, and your clients.

So send them a birthday card and acknowledge other events or holidays that are significant to them. Let them know they are valued as important members of your organization’s “family”. Kindness, respect and gratitude go a long way toward keeping a supportive donor, keeping your doors open, and keeping your clients’ needs met.