Why You Need to Establish Gratitude as a Pillar at Your Nonprofit
By: Melissa Lagowski
Founder, CEO and Queen Bee, Big Buzz Idea Group
With Thanksgiving upon us, it seems like everyone is talking about gratitude. (To be fair, it’s always top of mind around here-gratitude is one of our core values at Big Buzz!) Is there anything better than feeling appreciated? For nonprofits, acknowledging the contributions of those people directly tied to your organization is important. A simple, inspirational gesture of appreciation cultivates a sense of community, generosity and support for your mission.
WHO to Thank
Think about all of the people who are a part of your organization. They keep it running, growing and thriving. Each person contributes in some way, whether it’s with strategies, ideas, financial support, hands-on work or participation. They are the heart and soul, brains and hands of your nonprofit. What do you think? Here’s our quick list:
– Board members
– Executive Director
– Development team
– Staff members
– Donors and sponsors
– Program participants
WHY It Matters
Showing appreciation helps to build relationships and community. It makes people feel seen-you’re recognizing who they are and what they do-and that motivates them to continue to work hard and contribute. The simple act of saying “thank you” may feel small but it can foster a culture of gratitude within your organization. And that ripple effect is powerful! Especially at s time when many nonprofits are facing staffing shortages and other challenges, retention is a key focus. Gratitude goes a long way in keeping people happy and at home within your organization.
And really, being appreciative is just part of being a good human being! In today’s busy world-when time, talent and resources are stretched thin-it is important to show people we care. Speak up and state the truth: that they matter, their contributions matter, their work matters. We could all use a little more gratitude in our lives.
HOW to Show Gratitude
So now you know who you want to thank and why it’s important to do so. But how do you actually do it, especially when you don’t have a large budget? We rounded up a few ideas to get you started:
– Go back to basics with a heartfelt handwritten note. You might be surprised how many people save these cards and look back on them.
– Send a newsletter or physical mailing to a larger group. Include a photo that depicts the impact of the difference they’ve made.
– Organize a special “thank you” breakfast, lunch or celebration.
– Consider the interests of your staff and arrange something fun (like a yoga class or hands-on creative workshop) at the end of a workday.
– Provide professional development opportunities, like a special training or conference, that will excite and reinvigorate the individual you’d like to thank. (Bonus: he or she can bring new skills and ideas back to your organization!)
– Offer flexible work accommodations or extra time off, which can be especially appreciated during or after the busy holiday season.
Take the lead within your organization and give the gift of gratitude. This holiday season-and the approaching year-end-marks the perfect time to say “thank you” to those people who are an integral part of your organization.