Many of us in the U.S. are getting ready to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow. But gratitude is a year-long practice, not an annual feast. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude makes people happier, healthier, and more resilient in hard times. And one of the best ways to express that gratitude is to share it with those around you and tell them how much you appreciate them.

Looking for authentic ways to show gratitude this year?

Whether you’re thanking a donor or acknowledging a colleague for a job well done, here are some of the best examples we’ve seen of how fundraisers say thank you. Hopefully this inspires you and gives you some new ways to show gratitude to your donors and your internal team!

  • Send a Handwritten Note

    We had an MGO who decided to celebrate World Gratitude Day by sending handwritten notes to her donors, including those in her qualification pool. She sent physical notes to those donors with addresses and emails to those without. It was very well-received and she was actually able to qualify two new donors through this effort! This is also a great way to say thank you to a colleague for something specific that they did or helped you to accomplish this year. Handwritten notes are so rare these days that it makes it all the more meaningful.

  • Be Specific About What You’re Grateful For

    For donors, this means thanking them by name for the specific amount they gave, with information on the impact of the gift. And when you say thanks to your colleagues or others in your life, steer away from general statements like, “Thanks for all your great work!” Whether you thank them in a note or in person, always include specific examples of what you appreciate about them and how they’ve impacted you.

  • Share Homemade Treats

    Another MGO we work with hand delivers her special banana bread to her Tier A donors. These donors look forward to it every year! And for your donors who live far away, a package of homemade cookies or other treats can be a nice personal touch.

Ultimately, the best way to say thank you is to do so authentically and meaningfully. Where you can, tie the thank-you message into your mission and what your donor is most passionate about. And don’t forget to add your personality in.

While we’re on the subject, I want to thank YOU for being here. I’m so grateful to be a part of this community of fundraisers and leaders, and I hope you feel supported in the important work you’re doing. We’re here if you need anything.

Happy Thanksgiving,