Monday, March 7, 2016

A Thank You Letter to Fundraisers

Dear Fundraiser,

I wanted to take this time to thank you.  Now, before you interrupt me, please let me just say what I have to say.  I know you like to do most of the talking; but this time around, I’m asking that you humor me.

I really want to thank you. 

I hope you know I’m your biggest fan.  I want you to succeed more than you know; I really do.  I want nothing more than to see you closing big gifts and being celebrated for doing great work.  I’m in your corner and I’ve got your back.  That’s the truth.

I want to thank you for being so great at what you do and for allowing me to be a part of that success.  You know when I show up at my next conference, I’ll be bragging about how great you are and how amazing you are to work with.  My colleagues will be jealous.

It’s not every day that people in my profession have the privilege of having this kind of relationship. You and I are a team and that’s just not always the norm.  I could tell you stories…

Thank you for letting me find the best possible prospects for your portfolio. I appreciate that you trust me, and you believe I’m going to find people through wealth screening and other methods who have capacity and as best as I can tell - some affinity. 

Now we both know affinity can mean lots of different things and comes in lots of different shades of grey.  Thankfully, I have you to paint a picture that’s more black and white.  When you go out and qualify these people through face to face contacts I can’t help but smile.  It makes my day to see you doing this tireless work.

I really appreciate that you don’t ask me to do a lot of research prior to you getting an appointment.  Thank you for being considerate of my time and the resources I use.  I mean, if you knew how many times I researched people for fundraisers who never got an appointment – it would make your head spin.  Again, thank you for not doing that.

You know I am giving you prospects who have capacity and you accept the responsibility to qualify them.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be.  Thank you.

Besides, we both know you’re a natural at this. I think you do your best work when you learn things about your prospects organically. Every time you go in with too much information, you’re less fluid and too calculated.  That’s not you.  Am I right?

Thank you for recognizing that I’m giving you enough information for you to feel comfortable to get an appointment and to get yourself out the door.  I mean, you and I know how much you hate being in the office, right?

I also want to thank you for being fearless and being willing to cold call prospects.  I know that this is the least favorite part of your job and you do it anyway.  That’s one of the things I love about working with you – it’s never about you.  You do whatever it takes. 

You’re good at this stuff.  You know how to engage people and you are one heck of a story teller.  You have a gift and I admire the way you put that gift to good use.  You know a lot about what we are doing here and I love the way you convey that information with passion to the people you meet. 

Another thing – thank you so much for putting in contact reports.  I can’t thank you enough for this one.  And thank you for letting me remind you to do this on those rare occasions when you forget.  It’s my duty and you’re always great about this.

I know, you know how important institutional history is.  Remember when you first started and how frustrated you were at the lack of notes left by the previous fundraiser?  Of course you do. I’m so glad we don’t have to worry about that with you.  Thank you for setting an example for the others.

You know what else I really appreciate?  I love it when you debrief me on your meetings.  I love hearing how things went and for having an opportunity to brain storm next steps with you.  It makes me feel engaged.  It’s great being on the same team. Thank you again for the opportunity to collaborate.

I hope you continue to bounce some ideas off me.  I’ll be honest with you and let you know my thoughts.  This is the way it’s supposed to work. My colleagues at other non-profits would give anything to have this with their fundraisers.

I also appreciate it when you help me.  It’s so valuable when you verify things I find in research, but can’t confirm. You understand that I’m only able to provide pieces of the puzzle and you help find the other parts. 

You know, I think we’re going to do great things together.  I can’t wait to watch you blow past your goals. You know I’ll be right there with you.  I’ll be sure to keep your pipeline primed and ready to go for when you’re ready for more.

I think we have a great foundation for success. I’m glad we’re working together.  I really am thankful.

One last thing; thank you for your friendship. I mean that.  I don’t take this for granted. I feel l like I really know you and you know me.  I appreciate that we have more to talk about than just work.  I appreciate being able to just be me and that you’re comfortable in being yourself as well.

Thank you again.


  1. Very interesting way to describe the dynamics between fundraisers and prospect researchers.

  2. I love this! This ideal relationship between prospect development and the front line is true partnership. It's a real gift when this is achieved, and I'm certainly grateful for it!