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Thank You So Much!

August 23rd, 2017

"Thank you" is a phrase we use and hear very often. If someone holds a door open, says God bless you when we sneeze, or perhaps picks up the tab for dinner, we usually say thank you. Unfortunately,when we say the words it is often a reflex, spoken without thought or conviction. In today's world, we often thank someone with a text or shoot them a quick email which seems to somehow take the sincerity out of it. Handwritten notes, although usually very sincere, are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

My mother used to write the most beautiful heartfelt notes. Regardless of what someone did, they almost always received one of her notes. Partly because of this, handwritten thank-you notes have a special place in my heart. Several years ago, FUN decided to send personalized, handwritten notes to all clients following their events. We do this for every client but not every event. If you have a lot of events (first off, thank you) we only send a note about every 6 months – any more than that might become too common place and entirely defeat the purpose. For those that know me, they know that I whine about this a lot. It’s very time consuming and sometimes time is the one thing I don’t have a lot of. I really do believe in reaching out to our clients, letting them know that they are very special to us, and, of course, thanking them sincerely, but sometimes it is overwhelming. Recently, I was on the receiving end of this and trust me, I will whine no more.

Part of our philosophy is to give back to the community. We do this in a wide range of ways - from donating money, providing programs, volunteering, and encouraging our staff to volunteer for those things they are passionate about. We never expect anything in return, but a thank you note is usually appreciated. Years ago, we worked with one charity and it was not a great experience. Our staff member called from the event before it started saying that one of the charity’s staff members informed her that she hadn’t brought enough supplies and needed to have someone bring her more. Knowing how much we had sent, we knew she wouldn’t run out, and of course she didn’t. Following the event, they sent us a thank you note, thanking us for the use of our parking lots. OOPS! We didn’t provide parking lots. Because my wife is a development officer, I am sensitive to this stuff and let the charity know that they had made a mistake. Instead of being gracious or apologetic, they were annoyed and, in fact, accused me of being petty.

Fast forward to last week, recently we provided entertainment for a Big Sisters Boston event. It was not a straight donation, but was drastically reduced in terms of price. About a week ago, an envelope arrived in our office from the group. When I opened the envelope it stopped me in my tracks. On the front of the card was a large group shot of all the girls with some holding cards spelling out "Thank You." Below that, was the Big Sisters logo and the saying "From Your Friends at Big Sister Boston" with OUR LOGO on the front of the card. They’d taken the time to locate and add our logo to the card, it truly left me speechless. On the inside was another photo of two of the girls holding Airbrush Backpacks that our artists had made, and a typed note that was hand-signed by the person I had worked with. That attention to detail made me and FUN feel very appreciated. I will not hesitate to donate to them again. You would be amazed by the number of people that I have told about this note.

When I write thank you notes from now on, I will really take the time to think about what I am writing. There is a powerful impact associated with receiving a nice note and I am honestly appreciative of our clients. They have allowed me to do something that I love for a very long time. Whether someone has booked a caricature artist or a whole series of events for family weekend, it doesn’t really matter, it is all vital to our success. If I haven’t said it recently or sincerely enough, thank you, thank you, thank you!