Things Major Donors Love/Hate: Thanking & Appreciating vs. Not Being Valued

We appreciate all you do!

You’ve had the experience – you do something for someone and nothing comes back. Silence. Crickets.

I had the experience just last week. I honestly did not set out to GET something for taking an action that should have generated an appreciative response. I just did it because I cared. But nothing came back. And it was then that I noticed what I was missing in the transaction. And I felt bad.

Feeling valued is a core human need.

Tony Schwartz has written a compelling article about this subject in the Harvard Review. You may have to register to read it – but it is worth it.

Here are some key thoughts:

  • How we’re feeling – and most especially whether or not we feel acknowledged and appreciated – influences our behavior, consumes our energy and affects our decisions all day long, whether we’re aware of it or not.
  • To feel valued (and valuable) is almost as compelling a need as food. The more our value feels at risk, the more preoccupied we become with defending and restoring it, and the less value we’re capable of creating in the world.
  • There is a direct connection between valuing employees and the economic health of a company. Tony tells the story of Campbell Soup’s CEO Doug Conant who, when he started with the company, found that the employee engagement scores were among the worst of any Fortune 500 company. And Campbell’s economic performance was bad as well. He engaged and valued employees, and today the employees are happier and more engaged than most companies, and the company’s sales and earnings growth has consistently outperformed the majority of food companies in the Fortune 500.

Valuing matters. Why do major donors go away? Because they were not valued – they did not know their gifts made a difference. Think about this today.

And to help motivate you, think about the last time you did something for someone and were not valued. Get in touch with how that felt. Then prevent that feeling in your donors by thanking them and appreciating them today.

Richard

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