August 3 is my birthday. People always ask, "How old are you?"
For the record, this year, 2010, on my birthday I was 23,011 days old, counting leap years.
As a matter of policy, I am switching from years to days from this point on, as a way of keeping score. A daily enumeration better accounts for the wear and tear. "See this ear? This ear is more than 23,000 days old. And it has heard plenty of lies and evil. I don't think a few worry-wrinkles are out of line!"
Maybe counting the days will also serve to remind me that not one should be wasted (though, sigh, so many are).
Around the date, I received a flurry of birthday greetings from my Facebook pals: Laura Girl, Philip, T'Sey-Haye, Lydia Cookies, Kim, Mr. Rattray, Paula Potato, Jonathan, and Marcia. My dentist also sent his best.
Conspicuously absent among my well-wishers, though, were the colleges I've attended, who regularly solicit me for gifts; and the community foundation that expects to receive the bulk of our estate.
We all have a birthday.
It's our point of insertion into the world's story.
I'll keep this lesson short.
You need to gather the birthdays of all your donors.
You need to thank them annually for being on this earth and supporting your cause.
That birthday greeting could be the most important donor relationship piece you issue each year.
Of course, be polite. Ask. Will people accept birthday greetings? If they say "No," comply fully. The best service you will ever render is to respect a customer's wishes.
Donors need only a couple of things from you: (1) a strong sense that they are important to whatever fight you're engaged in; and (2) a belief that you do not take them for granted.
Go to www.aherncomm.com to learn lots more!