It is the little things . . .

  • It’s remembering a volunteer’s birthday or a child’s name. It’s correcting the spelling of a name or noting a spouse’s special interest. It’s reading the newspaper and congratulating someone on a new job or promotion.
  • It’s writing personal notes regularly to say thank you. It’s remembering the anniversary of a gift or a death. It’s using a live stamp and hand addressing the envelope. It’s using the philanthropy stamp on your personal mail.
  • It’s being the fourth person to take a phone call from a man who sounds like he’s drunk and turning that call into a $100,000 gift. It’s taking that $100,000 gift and turning it into $125,000 simply by asking for the annual fund gift as well.
  • It’s helping to feed and clothe an international student and her family, even though you know they will not likely become “A” prospects. It’s mentoring a young person and having her become a fundraiser as well. It’s counseling a colleague who is miserable and encouraging him to seek another line of work.
  • It’s giving free advice to a non-paying client. It’s not burning any bridges because you don’t know who your next boss might be. It’s permanently checking out of the library (with permission, of course) a class of 1924 yearbook and presenting it to a class of 1924 grad who had lost his copy.
  • It’s staying in touch. It’s working with clients now that were volunteers with your employer years ago on another campaign.
  • It’s writing Rosie O’Donnell a letter and hearing back in gifts and toys and clothes for your favorite client. It’s acknowledging Rosie’s generosity and securing a $25,000 van for the same organization that’s not even one of your clients anymore.
  • It’s holding your tongue or being patient when someone inside or outside your organization makes a mistake. It’s forgiving although maybe not forgetting, because next time it might be you. It’s smiling when you would rather frown. It’s finding the silver lining in that dark cloud or failed campaign.
  • It’s knowing that a no isn’t really a no; but maybe or just not yet. It’s giving your very best every day and counting your blessings and knowing that it is the small things that turn into small gifts and small gifts can grow into major gifts, who knows maybe a mega gift or two.

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