Photo credit to Robert Galbraith/Reuters
Have you heard about Miles, the Batkid of San Francisco? Back in November, the Make-A-Wish Foundation made this five-year-old cancer survivor’s dream come true by turning the whole city into a Gotham-themed playground for a day, complete with supervillains condemned by the U.S. Department of Justice and damsels in distress. Turns out this act touched more lives than just our heroes'. Someone rented a billboard to thank Batkid for his feats of daring-do during his day fighting crime—and no one knows who funded it! It’s a complete mystery, one that not even Batman himself could solve.
By keeping his or her identity masked, this anonymous donor’s indirect contribution to the Make-A-Wish foundation puts the focus on their mission—to give children hope, strength, and joy by granting wishes, extravagant or modest—rather than garnering attention for him- or herself.
Sometimes, it’s the simplest words that have the biggest impact, and remembering to say “thank you” can be the easiest way to preserve the relationship you've worked so hard to establish with your donor. But what makes a great thank-you letter? What can encourage donors to feel good about the gifts they’ve already made—and inspire them to give again?
Alyssa Smith was a diamond in the rough in last year’s applications. You were excited to offer her acceptance, and she and her parents have been a wonderful addition to your private-independent school community. This year, you see “Smith, Michael” on one of your applications, and you open it with pleasure to find … a young man you can’t accept.
In early spring, your Admission Office bustles with news for waiting families and burning questions your staff ask among themselves as they wait for responses as your deadline approaches. How many of your currently-enrolled families will re-enroll? How many of your “yes” letters will come back with a signed contract and a check? What if you don’t hit your enrollment goal? What if you're over enrolled?