25 Nov

Moving Beyond Thanksgiving Day to Creating Cultures of Gratitude


This week brings us to Thanksgiving. The day every year where families and friends gather and offer gratitude. Organizations send out emails and notes to staff, donors and volunteers telling them how thankful they are to have them as part of their efforts.

Volunteer organizations are bombarded with requests to volunteer especially soup kitchens, food banks and shelters. It is a concentrated thank-a-thon!

What would it look like if instead of saturating November with our thanks, we instead worked to establish cultures of gratitude?

What would it mean to your leadership team, staff, board, donors and volunteer pool if you adopted a practice of thanking them individually and specifically for something unique to them every single time you see them?

Here are 5 ways to nurture a culture of gratitude in your organization:

1. Every staff meeting starts with a round of thank yous from the executive or manager and a chance for personal reflection and sharing.

2. Board members are recognized for specific initiatives taken since the last board meeting such as introductions, representing the organization at community events, hosting parlor meetings, office help etc.

3. Volunteers receive thank you emails after every volunteer engagement and personal calls of thanks when milestones are reached such as number of days, hours, etc.

4. Donors receive thank you calls with specific details about how their gift made an impact and no ask.

5. Staff appreciation is not limited to a day or month but staff are shown gratitude every single day by managers and weekly or monthly throughout the year.

Next year, my hope for all of us is that we look back in November and honor our culture of gratitude in addition to celebrating Thanksgiving day.

With thanks and appreciation for your support and partnership to make our world better,

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