We live in a pretty thankless world. It often times borders on ungrateful. The basic manners our parents taught us have disappeared- for the most part anyway. Last year, I posted about the Value of Friendship and how important fostering relationships with charitable donors are. Today I’m taking it a step further to emphasize the value of a thank you note- to donors, friends, or anyone for that matter.
Thank you is the one phrase that says, “I appreciate you”, “I am grateful”, “You didn’t have to but I’m glad you did.” A thank you card says, “You went a mile for me, I just want to go an inch for you”, “Your kindness has not gone unnoticed”, “There’s not much I can really do to repay you but I want you to know I appreciate you.”
Who writes in cards or note cards in 2012? I know. Wack sauce. We all use e-mail. That should be enough, right? Wrong. The truth is, taking five minutes to write a quick note to say thank you to someone who met you for coffee, donated to your charity, or gave you a gift, shouldn’t be any sweat off of your back. However, because of the microwave world we live in, snail mail is a thing of the past. Doing things the right way, the customary way just doesn’t occur as often as it should.
The time it takes to write a thank you note is the time it takes to send a tweet, post a facebook status, or change the filter on an instagram photo. Instead of telling the internets how thankful you are, tell the person- with a note. Yes, this also includes a .44 cent stamp. Trust me when the recipient gets your card in the mail it will make them smile. Who doesn’t appreciate getting real mail once in a while- not stupid bills and junk mail.
Here’s how to do it the right way in 4 Easy Steps:
1. Start by sending a very brief email to say thank you as soon as possible. This acknowledges the person’s gesture simply and quickly. The email shouldn’t be too long because you are getting ready to send a personalized note afterall.
2. Your card or stationary of choice should reflect you or the person to whom you are sending the note. You want the card to speak to the person receiving it before they open it. If you enjoy a nice hott pink, grab a pack of haute hott pink cards. If you know the person you are thanking loves ducks, search high and low for a cute card with ducks. If you are sending a note of thanks to a hiring manager, keep the card simple and classic. If the card is from your non-profit, get a custom set with your logo from sites such as Zazzle or VistaPrint.
3. Send the card in a timely fashion. Someone does something kind for you, don’t take 3 months to send a note. The appropriate time frame is two weeks. This shows it meant that much to send it with urgency. If for some reason you just can’t get around to it, be sure to add a line that acknowledges the note it being sent late. I’m getting this to you a little later than I would like….
4. Make the wording personal. The point of the card is to say what you didn’t say on email and really express your gratitude. Tell them how their gift to you made you feel, or what it meant to you for them to take time to meet with you. Be sincere. Always write a draft on scrap paper first. Wasting cards isn’t cool. For help with what to say, check out this article by Dempsey & Carroll.
That said… If you’re a young(ish), sassy, fun, philanthropic person of color OR happen to know someone that is OR need to send a note of thanks (or just hello) to someone that fits this description, I encourage you to consider the Limited Edition Friends of Ebonie Stationary Collection by LittleMissMika.com. The set features three (3) colorful, encouraging illustrations designed with you (and me) in mind!
Not only does the Friends of Ebonie set benefit you, $6 from every set sold is being donated to The Gye Nyame Empowerment Project (GNEP). The mission of GNEP is to recognize, celebrate, and examine issues pertaining to people of color, with an emphasis on those residing in underserved communities. The organization is dedicated to the education and advancement of people of color, and the development of the neighborhoods and communities they reside in through conferences, workshops and other social and educational mediums. (Source) Sales for the Friends of Ebonie set end on August 3rd! So, chop, chop!!!
Thank you goes a long way. It will help keep you relevant and set you a part from everyone else who just sends an email. Go the extra inch and send a thank you note. Start saying thank you the right way today!