Now that’s how you say Thank You!

I’ve written a fair amount on this blog about gratitude and giving thanks. It’s super duper important when it comes to marketing…and life in general.  In addition to ‘non-profit‘ and ‘provide‘, showing gratitude is a soapbox I regularly haul out and hop on top of (look here and here to see what I mean).

So when I got these stupendously awesome thank you notes, I wanted to be sure to share them with you. Cuz who doesn’t need a little inspiration in their life?!

This first one came from Michael Stringer, one of the conference co-chairs of the Oregon Nonprofit Leaders Conference (which, by the way, is possibly the best run conference I’ve ever been privileged enough to be a part of). Although written on letterhead, which can feel more formal, his thank you is warm, genuine and personalized. Look at how he incorporated the content from my sessions into the thank you by swapping out “elevator speeches” for “pitches”. Love this guy!

Oregon Nonprofit Leaders Conference, thank you, gratitude,











The next two are from came our way because, as a way of showing gratitude to Claxon fabulous clients, we  made a donation in their name via Donors Choose so that a third grade class could start a book club. Every single student wrote a thank you note. Every single one. These are two of about 25 that we received. Um…awesome!

gratitude, thank you notes, Donors Choose

If  8  year olds can knock gratitude out of the park, so can you! Your thank yous don’t need to be fancy–they need to be genuine, heart-felt, authentic.

Be creative. Have fun. Notes, phone calls, social media shout-outs, profiles in your newsletters–the ways in which you can show gratitude are almost endless. How will you show gratitude?


Three: The Magic Number

Power of Three

During my Catholic upbringing, I was taught that three is a magical number. It took three days for Christ to rise from the grave, God himself exists as three separate entities in one (i.e. the Holy Trinity), and any Catholic church has sets of three everywhere you look.

Religion aside, the number three is a magic number – in communications. Look at the paragraph above. I gave three examples of how the number three is relevant to Catholicism. Look back at previous blog posts I’ve written. You’ll see more often than not, when I use examples, or even adjectives, I use three. This isn’t a coincidence.

I won’t pretend to understand the psychology behind it, but there’s something about three that helps your language flow better, your message be remembered, and your listeners take action. There is evidence to suggest that anything more than three will overwhelm your listener – it’s too much information to take in quickly. On the flip side, two doesn’t give them enough evidence.

Let’s look at an example:

Mindy Cat copy

I love my cat Mindy because she has a soothing purr, adorable whiskers, and the softest fur I’ve ever felt.

I love my cat Mindy because she has a soothing purr and adorable whiskers.

I love my cat Mindy because she has a soothing purr, adorable whiskers, the softest fur I’ve ever felt and a sweet personality.

(I have to work Mindy into my blog posts whenever I can. Let’s try again, sans Mindy.)

She won the award for her clear, concise and compelling speech.

She won the award for her clear and concise speech.

She won the award for her clear, concise, compelling and competent speech.

What do you think about the above sentences? I know at this point it’s hard to be impartial and decide which one you would best remember if introduced to them individually. So you’ll have to trust me on this one. Or trust these guys: The New York Times, Business Insider, Forbes (Really, check out those links. There’s some great additional info there, such as how Thomas Jefferson used the rule of threes).

While this post is on language use, I will briefly mention that the rule of threes isn’t limited to writing and speaking. Designers use it in the number of colors and fonts they choose. Many websites (especially news sites) use three columns to report their stories. Our favorite books and stories have a beginning, middle and end.

See what I did there?

Consistency isn’t boring!

Being consistent doesn’t mean being boring. In this short video, you’ll learn the two reasons you should nurture consistency, and hear about an organization that consistently hits the mark (Kaboom!) and one that had a consistency hiccup (Seattle Symphony).



Do you communicate as effectively as you think?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?