The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Stewardship done right: #4

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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital recently sent me a letter that is a good example of stewardship done right.  The letter, announcing the appointment of a new CEO, says, in part, “Extraordinary friends like you have helped St. Jude’s beacon of hope grow brighter each year.  For this reason, it is with great pleasure that we share with you some headline news from ALSAC/St. Jude.”   The letter goes on to say ” . . . we wanted to reach out to you in a special way so that you would be among the first to hear this exciting announcement.”

In addition to listing his more typical qualifications for the position, the letter introduces the new CEO, Richard (Rick) Shadyac, Jr., in a warm and personal way by noting that his father is a former CEO of ALSAC and a long-time Board member who was a personal friend of St. Jude’s founder, Danny Thomas.  As a result, the letter says, ” . . . St. Jude lives in Rick’s DNA.”

The letter confers on the recipient “insider” status for being on the receiving end of this special news from the organization.  It helps the reader connected to Mr. Shadyac by describing him as part of the St. Jude family.  And, without saying it directly, the letter says something important about the strong process of governance within the organization.  This is especially important in today’s environment when donors are increasingly skeptical of nonprofits and, in a time when they may have less to give, some donors are making decisions about which organizations they will continue to support.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

September 9, 2009 at 11:55 pm

One Response

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  1. I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read….


    October 8, 2009 at 11:09 pm

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