Show Gratitude

Saying the words thank you can be very powerful. We all know how important it is for nonprofit organizations to thank their donors. Each day that you get a donation, set aside time to send out great thank you letters. In addition, recognize your donors in your newsletters and annual report. But thank yous go beyond your donors. Who else should you thank?

Before we get to that, a few notes about showing gratitude.

  • Make sure it’s sincere. Don’t thank someone unless they deserve it. 
  • Make it specific. Thank someone for a particular task or something they did – Thank you for supporting our auction. Thank you for all your work on the grant proposal.
  • Beware of overkill. If you thank people too much, it won’t sound genuine. Remember to make it sincere and specific. 

Now, here are some people to thank.

After all, your volunteers are not being paid to help with office work, write newsletter articles, or work on events. They need a reason to keep coming in. Besides a verbal thank you, you could bring in treats for your volunteers or take them out to lunch.

Board Members
Board members are often busy professionals, as well as being volunteers. Board members are expected to make a commitment to serve your organization, and they deserve thanks for that. You can thank them individually for helping with a certain task and as a group in your newsletter or annual report.

Staff Members 
If you are a manager, don’t forget to thank your staff members for a job well done. People thrive on praise. Besides individual thank yous, find a way to thank the whole staff, such as having occasional group lunches.

Your Manager
Most managers want their staff members to succeed and would be thrilled if you thanked them for their support and guidance. Remember to be sincere and don’t suck up.

Your Colleagues 
Thank your colleagues if they provide you with information for a report or help you with something that just made your life a whole lot easier. It makes for a more congenial workplace.

Other Supporters
In your newsletter, you can thank other supporters for attending an event or calling their legislators about an issue. People always like to feel appreciated for what they have done.

It’s really quite simple to say thank you, yet at the same time it can be very powerful.

Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

One thought on “Show Gratitude

  1. Ann, thank you for reminding folks of the importance of a heart-felt thank-you. Since your post didn't really touch on HOW to thank folks, I thought I'd offer up one very simple technique that really resonates with folks in this electronic age: Send people a handwritten thank-you note. This personal touch will definitely be appreciated by recipients.

    If readers would like to know if they can include an ask in a thank-you letter, they can check-out my blog post on the subject at

    Happy Thanksgiving!


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