In my recent blogs, I focused on different aspects of contracting and dealing with your staff in the workplace. They were all very serious, as they should be, of course, given the topics. But as you know, managing staff is something that also requires a light touch at certain moments. And one of the moments you could grab is Valentine’s. So, tell me, what are you planning for Valentine’s Day?

Is that appropriate?

Traditionally, Valentine’s Day celebrates romance and love. You may wonder whether it is appropriate to approach your team as if you were romantically involved with them. And, yes, I’d say that would indeed be inappropriate. So that is not what I mean.

Love & Appreciation

In recent years, Valentine’s has moved away from a focus on romantic love (with those anonymous postcards with declarations of love, remember those?). Nowadays, celebrations focus more widely on love and on appreciating someone. And that someone could be your mother, your friends. And yes, why not your team? Or your donors?

Appreciating your team

Valentine’s is a good moment to tell your team members why they are special for you. What talents do they have that add value to the work your organization does? Which creative ideas have they shared that helped solve a problem? What characteristics do they have that have helped build the team? Choose one special thing of each of your team members and tell them about it. Write them a card. Or make them a video message. Or send them a voice message. Just be sure to make it personal and genuine.

Appreciating your donors

Spreading the love to your donors is always a great idea. And Valentine’s is perfectly suited for a warm message of appreciation to your donors, too. Tell them how special it is that they are supporting you. Show them what they have helped accomplish. Let them know what that means to the people who were touched by this impact. Make a personal message for each of your donors. And make sure it is clear that it is a personal message, instead of an automatically generated one. You should aim to touch their hearts, the same as their contribution has touched lives.

Top tips

My top tips for you:

  • Be personal. And make it look and feel personal.
  • If you are blessed enough to have a great many donors, engage your team and use tools where possible to make personal messages for each of them.

Want to know more and ask questions?

If you want to discuss this more – jump into the Facebook group and get input from a wide range of peers and from myself!

Here is how you can join my free Facebook group

Join my free Facebook group how to become a professional and resilient nonprofit with Suzanne Bakker here. In this group we have a safe space for open exchange and discussion on potentially sensitive topics like boards, nonprofit management, fundraising, etc.