An apology and thanks are similar in that they can be like candy: inexpensive, easily given out, and last only for the moment. If you want to prove that your sentiment is truly genuine, then you need to back it up by taking action.
When an organization’s action, or lack of action, upset a donor, offering only an apology is not the solution. The more meaningful tack is to show accountability by quickly recognizing the organization’s error through an apology and then demonstrating sincerity by taking steps to correct the error. If the error was caused by organizational or policy issues, it may also be necessary to involve the organization’s board members to identify those issues and implement changes that ensure the mistake won’t be repeated.
By taking action and showing accountability, the organization/donor relationship will be mended and possibly strengthened. We are all human after all, and mistakes will happen, but not taking action to correct the mistake will not only damage the relationship, but it will damage the organization’s reputation as well.
Thank you’s are easily dispensed and carry little weight if honest appreciation is not shown. To truly show gratitude, an act of appreciation should proportionally reflect the value of the donor’s contribution.
By offering more than just a spoken apology or thanks and thoughtfully demonstrating your appreciation, you will prove to a donor that their impact will not be forgotten by your organization.