The conversation over dinner turned to work.
I’ve talked about my mother in law before. She is the perfect example of Jane Donor here in Canada.
She told me she had taken some time to write some notes on a few pieces from the latest ‘box’ of direct mail she has gotten. Yes. She gets that much sometimes.
I thanked her and I told her that I was thinking of starting a collection of remarkable or extraordinary donor experiences to share with our colleagues.
“Can you recall the last time you had an extraordinary experience with a charity?” I asked her, just as we were finishing off our last bits of mashed potato.
She stopped. Fork hovering in mid air…
She looked at me. Nothing.
“I can’t think of a one…”
I said, let me give you an example – maybe that will help…
A few months ago, on the Friday of a long weekend, I saw a tweet go out from one of my fav charities, The Redwood in Toronto about their summer e-campaign to send some special moms and their kids to a waterpark or have an amazing bbq or a number of other things… Great idea. The timing was perfect, summer was just getting underway, the ask was specific and compelling and the thought of sending a mom and her kids off for a day of fun, laughter and memories was something I wanted to play a role in! HELL YES! Where do I sign up?
So, off I went after making my gift, feeling good, to go get my own kids to start our long weekend.
That evening, after the house got quiet, I checked my home phone to see there was a flashing light… a message. Usually it is telemarketing, or not for me, so I usually don’t bother checking. But I did this time.
New Message: 4:45pm
“Hello John, this is Anthea Windsor, president of the board at The Redwood...” (You can listen to her call here if you want… antheacall)
And I listened for 35 seconds and I felt a massive smile spread across my face and instantly knew at the close of her call that I had ABSOLUTELY made an awesome decision to give earlier in the day. Unscripted, honest, heartfelt and real and 15 minutes before the start of a long weekend… her call touched my heart.
Simple. Remarkable. Memorable. 35 seconds.
My mother in law still sat there… folk… mid air. Forgotten.
“Wow, I wish I got calls like that…”
This is a 60 something, Canadian female donor who gives to many, many, many and many charities. Monthly, one time, once a year, two or three times a year, by mail, by phone…
Not one story she could share.
I’m speechless. And a little angry to be truthful.
I thank God, we work with some of the charities that we do – I’ve watched Ann handwrite hundreds of thank you cards, I’ve gotten calls from their board or ED’s, I’ve received some AMAZING thank you video’s – and they don’t do it because we are near by – they’ve always done this.
So – starting today, you can email me YOUR remarkable/extraordinary experience, as a donor, and I will be asking others and looking for more – and sharing with you in the months to come…