Those that know me know I am absolutely freaky about the necessity of College Ministers writing personal thank you notes to contributors. A long time ago when I attended a course in fund raising, they said to remember that the most likely person to give you a gift is someone who has already given you one!
Over the years as Sue and I have made a gift to some other College Ministry, I was surprised at how often we heard nothing back. We would wonder if they had gotten it and would not know until the check cleared. We certainly did not know what they used it for or if it mattered. Some of you would say my problem is that I was looking for credit and praise. Two things: First, recently someone close to me sent a large December 31 gift and when they recently were reconciling their check book saw it had not cleared the bank. It had been lost in the mail...Campus Ministry had not received it...they needed it. Second, people today want to give their money where they know it matters and does some good.
Here are 4 Examples of College Ministers Saying Thanks and staying Connected:
1. The alumni at Virginia Tech BCM play a large role in the ministry. In addition to giving to help support staff, they do a work weekend at the BCM Center (you know Engineers!). When an alum has a baby, Darrell Cook sends them a onesie with a Virginia Tech BCM logo on it!
2. Tim Stewart, formerly BCM Director at South Carolina, every so often would send a box of South Carolina memoralbia and a tee shirt from their fall retreat to generous donors.
3. Kevin Cox and his wife Amy serve at Clarke College in Masschusetts and raise their own salaries. Sue and I gave a small check to them early on and they sent a thank you with a picture of Kevin and Amy holding a handmade sign that said, "Thanks Sue and Arliss!". That wins a prize for unique and personal.
4. Roger and Rose Bear serve at Indiana State and are some of those who now raise their own salaries due to the funding cuts made by the North America Mission Board. They send out a wonderful monthly newletter with great stories of things that are happening AND, Rose always writes a one sentence personal greeting on it. Experts will tell you a handwritten PS will be quickly and often first read. I wrote my Senator about an issue recently...the letter I got back was almost certainly a form letter, but it had a handwritten PS on it. He knows!
How are you saying thanks? People today are hit up for more causes than they can give to....most don't want praise...but, they do want to give where it matters and makes a difference! A College Minister friend got a call from a donor recently asking if he could come by and pick up a check...they had been generous before...he thought it would likely be a check for $2,000 to $3,000. It was for $50,000. Wonder how he said thanks?