Last week Seattle nonprofits were gearing up for GiveBIG on May 2. There was a lot of pre-thanking going on, e.g. “Thanks in advance for supporting us on May 2!”
Of lesser importance but relevant to this post, last week was also my birthday so I’ve been thanking people left, right and center. (It was a really good birthday!)
All this thanking got me wondering: what does it really mean to thank someone?
The phrase “Thank you” comes from Old English. Over time, we shortened it from “I thank you” to simply “thank you”.
On balance, this isn’t a big deal. Language evolves. But when it comes to non profits and donor communications, by losing the ‘I’, we lose an opportunity to deepen our relationship with our supporters.
It’s easy to toss around “thanks” or “thx” or “TY” (twitter-speak for Thank You). Using the whole expression makes you think about what comes after with more intention.
I thank you for joining the fight to find a cure for cancer.
We thank you for joining the fight to find a cure for cancer.
Thank you for joining the fight to find a cure for cancer.
Very similar but very different. Simply by adding one little word (and therefore being clear about who is thanking whom and for what) you can create a deeper sense of connection to your organization and your cause.
Next time you thank someone for supporting your cause or volunteering or advocating or joining or anything else, try using the original phrase beginning with ‘I’ or ‘We’. How does it change the feeling of the sentence? How does it make the person on the receiving end feel?
I thank YOU for reading this post…and for making the world a better place every day!