The Power of Thanks

I serve on the Board of a local affiliate of an international non-profit. One of our major fund raisers is an annual breakfast. I learned something very important last year at our breakfast. I made a modest pledge as is my custom every year. That afternoon the assistant development officer called to give me a report on the breakfast and to personally thank me for my gift. His thanks was succinct, sincere and obviously timely. I felt valued as a contributor. Frankly, it felt good.

Effective non-profits know the importance of appreciation and saying thank you. In my experience churches fail, sometimes miserably so, in this regard. Leaders seem to think that church members are supposed to give and really do not need to be thanked. We will thank someone for hosting a small group or helping out on a retreat but ignore someone who makes a significant gift. Where is the logic in thanking someone for a relatively trivial thing and ignoring the widow who has consistently given her mite for years?

Start today expressing thanks for those generous people in your church. One way to do this is to follow the advice of J. Clif Christopher in his book, Not Your Parents' Offering Plate. He recommends, "Advise the treasurer that you want to be notified no later than Monday morning of any gift that was out of the ordinary so you can personally thank the giver in a letter and later in person, if you get the chance."

There is great power in saying thank you.