Saying Thank You

September 19, 2011

This is the second to last section of chapter six of my book, A Day of Hope: Leading Volunteers to Make a Difference in Your Community. I wrote the book to teach people who lead volunteers to do good work in your community.

This is section 12 and is a chance for you, my blog readers, to enjoy a section of the book for free. 


Ah, now it’s time for another fun part.  Saying thank you!  So allow me to start by thanking you for reading this book.  The key to thanking people is to always find an opportunity to thank someone.  The more you can thank people, the more they feel that they are a significant part of the team.

Every year I send out about 150 thank you cards to people who have donated money, volunteered, or contributed to A Day of Hope in some way or another.  Not only do they receive a printed thank you card, but the card I hand write a note thanking them for their specific contribution to our success over the year.

We print a simple thank you on the outside and a picture of all the food we donated on the inside along with the text, “Everyone from A Day of Hope would like to thank you for your generous contribution to make this day special.  It’s because of the generous hearts and caring souls of people like you that made this event possible.  Thanks to you, 384 families had a reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving.”

You can’t successfully do A Day of Hope long term without appropriately thanking people.  It’s the right thing to do because it’s what they deserve.  When you thank people, it makes them feel appreciated and valued.  It fills their hearts to know they helped and reminds them of why they donated their time and energy.  By telling them, “Your support is appreciated and needed,” it also makes your request next year much easier.

How you say thank you doesn’t have to always be confined to a thank you card.  I say thank you to lots of people in lots of different ways.

  • Hugs
  • Kiss (this is only reserved for my girlfriend, Jen)
  • A thank you card
  • Email
  • Hand shake
  • Personal note
  • Email newsletter
  • A message on our website

It’s not important “how” you thank people, but you need to consistently do it throughout the process and after the entire event is over.  Don’t allow any volunteer to leave your presence without appropriately saying thank you.  Don’t accept any donation without looking the person in the eye and saying thank you.

This chapter is mainly about how to persist and finish up the last leg of A Day of Hope.  This can be the tough part of the journey, when you’re so close yet you feel like it’s easy to give up.  Before we part ways I would like to remind you of two things:

  1. Often people give up on their goals and dreams when they never realized just how close they were to reaching them.  If you are starting A Day of Hope in your community and not much is happening, keep after it.  Keep going and don’t give up because even though it might feel like you’re not close to doing what you set out to do or to serving the amount of people you had originally intended, you’re probably much closer than you think
  2. Remember what a great theologian (who’s aged now but still in his prime years) said, “The last thing to age is someone’s heart.”  Rocky Balboa said that!  In the process of trying to get A Day of Hope going you might feel tired, worn out, and burnt out, but your heart is still in there.  You’ve still got what it takes, so go and make it happen!

Question: How do you like to thank people?

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I also may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."