Why we spent a day saying thank you

Web rosslyn neely says thank you  wide

Chief executive Roslyn Neely says thank you

Sue Diamond of Sick Kids Friends Foundation says all staff spending a day thanking supporters led to an increase in donations

TFN Guest's photo

17th February 2016 by TFN Guest 2 Comments

Just before Christmas it became clear that we had had our most successful year in terms of money raised and, more importantly, grants applied for and given out. It was only possible thanks to our fantastic supporters, corporate donors, committed volunteers and brilliant hospital staff. As fundraisers we often say that it’s “only possible thanks to…” but how often do we really take the time out of our day to say a sincere thanks with no other motive?

Many of us in the team had attended the Institute of Fundraising Scotland’s 2015 conference and had been inspired by Suzie Bradley of Erskine and her session on 'The Art of Thanking; the good, the bad and the ugly'. A day out of our normal routine to say thank you to everyone that helped in 2015 didn’t seem that daunting… in December!

On the day, January 28, we used a combination of communication methods – pulling together a thank you video with the help of the hospital and amazing staff, Grant Stott, Nina from Nina and the Neurons and Tom Gilzean. Our royal patron even sent in a selfie video for us to include.

This video was included in tweets and on our Facebook page and has now had over 1,000 views. The great thing is that we are able to use it again for our thank you for online donations

We also used thank you cards designed by our Illustrator in Residence, Cate James. Sending handwritten cards is such a great thing to do as we so seldom receive something which feels truly personal anymore. 

The other advantage is that people tend to display thank you cards and so your thank you stays in the mind for much longer than a typed letter or email. 

We had evidence of this from some of our supporters showing the card on the mantelpiece or just a thank you on Twitter from some of our donors. We had a number of regular donors increasing their donation amounts and lots of lovely emails and telephone calls thanking us for their thank you!

We made phone calls as well – just thanking people and taking the time to chat.  It was just such a positive thing to do and although there were sore hands from writing cards there were lots of great stories, lots of laughs and a lot of good will generated by just one day out of our routine. The thanking goes on all year round but we think that having a day to make our supporters aware of just how much their efforts mean to us is well worth the time.

Sue Diamond is the community fundraising manager at the Sick Kids Friends Foundation

17th February 2016 by Alison Knight

What a great story - very inspiring. Usually a thank you call or letter from a charity is quickly followed by a request for an increase in donations. A 'no-strings attached' thank you means a lot to people!

17th February 2016 by Susan Bradley

Fantastic work by all at Sick Kids Friends Foundations! Glad you all enjoyed my IOF session and it's really amazing to see you put some for the ideas into action.