February is the month we set aside for showing affection (Valentine’s Day and all that…), so this month every blog post ties into love, romance, sex and perhaps lust.
Last week covered one-night stands. The week prior looked at training your volunteers to flirt in the silent auction. Today, it’s about showing your guests some love.
Here’s a short blog post with a big message. It’s an easy way to show your guests you love them.
And make it all about the cause when you do.
Last year I worked with Headwaters Foundation, a public school foundation that supports what has traditionally been one of the poorest counties in Virginia.
I didn’t get a thank you from the Executive Director or from the Gala Chair. And although I would have welcomed a note of appreciation from either of those two, I got something better — I got thanked from the kids!
This note card is what I received in the mail after the auction.
I’ve no idea if “Carolyn” is one of the girls pictured on the front of the card. For all I know, the photo could be from 20 years ago. It might even be stock photography.
It really doesn’t matter. The thank you itself gets the idea across. “Carolyn” is one of the children benefiting from Headwaters Foundation. And the photo represents (or is) kids being helped.
Can your organization do something similar by writing your auction thank you letters with a little extra love from the beneficiaries themselves?
An SPCA might be inspired to take one of their current dogs and stamp his paw print onto a thank you letter before it’s mailed. “Rufus, a current shelter dog, thanks you for your support,” could be the message.
Or maybe one of your clients (like the children in this example) can make an effort to write short notes of thanks.
It might not work for all nonprofits, but many could use this concept of having the beneficiaries write the note.
Think about it. A standard auction thank you letter can be made much more personal when you add a little love in this way.
Betti Adams says
This year we have a problem. We had two more events after our auction and never got our donor thank you letters out. Our auction was at the end of February and it’s now the beginning of May! I KNOW this is awful and i’m embarrassed for my organization.
So, do we talk about the fact that the thank you is way too late in coming, or just ignore it and thank them as we usually do?
Sherry Truhlar says
What’s wrong with being honest? In essence: “I’m embarrassed. Sometimes a well-intended process breaks down, and post-event was one such time. No need for me to explain the gory details, but suffice to say we failed to acknowledge your generous gift. Maybe you didn’t even notice the oversight, but I did. You. Were. Awesome. Let me tell you why … blah blah blah. …”
But Betti — outside of this — I did get your Speakpipe. If the organization cannot afford a $100 course on silent auctions that will teach you how to raise MORE than your $100 investment, I would suggest you stop running the auction. (I’m not joking even a little.) It’s a waste of hundreds of hours to plan a silent auction when there is no effort taking place to improve the results. Honest.
Michelle Gutman says
May I get onto your newsletter mailings?
Sherry Truhlar says
Michelle, I’m happy to add you, though it’s often better if you add yourself. Your computer security will “like” us better if you initiate that add-on than if we do. I’ll send you an email with instructions, but here’s the link: https://www.redappleauctions.com/free-resources/benefit-auction-ideas/