Saying "thank you often" is an obvious good parish practice. It would seem like it would happen naturally --but sometimes some structure is necessary.
Thank You Responses Should Be: Personal. Prompt. Planned.
In an article published in the Lewis Center for Church Leadership newsletter, staff member Ann Michel offers the following:
"Saying thank you promptly and regularly is one of the simplest and most effective things a congregation can do to reinforce good stewardship and enhance giving. When people are thanked regularly, they feel appreciated, valued, and needed - which makes them more likely to support ministry with their time, talents, and financial support. To accomplish this, churches need a thank you system that is personal, prompt, and planned. "
Read her suggestions for accomplishing this here.
In a related article in the same publication, Celsie Delve Schuermann a stewardship consultant and blogger offers additional suggestions:
- "If you get a gift, write a thank you letter. Period.
- Everyone who handles money should be aware of the importance of stewarding relationships, not just processing money.
- If someone takes the time to write a personal letter with a financial gift, make sure it is passed on. In the thank you letter, someone should write a personal note indicating that they have read the letter and how its sentiments are appreciated.
- Take note of who is sending the donation and how they might want to be addressed. With a little attention to detail most errors can be avoided. And make sure you spell the donor's name correctly."