Since it’s almost time for Thanksgiving, I thought this topic was very fitting.
(Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!)
A member of our Chamber Professionals Group on Facebook asked the group how do their chambers recognize members who go out of their way and/or make a sizable donation or provide a large-scale service.
In this case, it was donating considerable time and effort in the creation of the chamber website.
This is what I would recommend:
You want to go out of your way to thank the member in tangible ways that can help their business.
The chamber’s new website should have a banner or a graphic in the sidebar that reads the website was donated through this member. It’s customary to include this information at the bottom of the page, most people won’t see it but it should be down there also.
There should be a short social media campaign focusing on this member, where they get shout-outs and thanks for a while.
It should go in your email newsletter, again thanking them and giving them kudos for going out of their way.
The Benefits of Expressing Your Appreciation Publicly
First, the member who made the donation will feel appreciated. If they see you mentioning them several times and their company gets tagged (hopefully with some new customers) and the chamber staff or a board member mentions it, it will probably surprise them because so often people are not appreciated for the nice things they do.
Second, the people in the community will see that this member gave this large donation, put in this time and effort helping out the chamber, and as a member of the chamber or a sponsor of the chamber they’re getting quite a bit of attention for that. They assume the same will happen to them if they make a donation of time and effort. It’s not promised. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s implied.
The opposite is also true. If a member does something really nice for the chamber, whether it is upgrading the website or chairing the golf tourney, and they get almost no attention or appreciation, they may tell others that the chamber is hard to work for or ungrateful. Their negativity could have lasting repercussions, all because the chamber staff failed to simply express their gratitude. People are touchy.
It’s fine, and encouraged, to fall all over yourselves as a chamber to give attention, appreciation, kudos to a member who helps the chamber because the other members and people in the community who see that will want it for themselves.
So go out of your way, even go over the top, in appreciation for their significant donation.