Thursday, May 27, 2010

Surprise and delight

I had dinner at a lovely restaurant in Vancouver tonight.

As I sat waiting for my food, the waiter appeared with a dish 'compliments of the kitchen'. I think he was more taken aback by the look on my face than I was by the gesture.

I can't remember the last time this happened I'm thinking. In fact I don't think this has ever happened to me? It certainly took me by surprise, and delighted me no end.

The dish was small, but really nice. Yet the act significant. After that the food tasted better, the service seemed exceptional, and of course I left a decent tip. Well, big for an Aussie (we aren't great tippers).

I sat there wondering how often charities 'surprise' and 'delight' their donors? I racked my brains thinking of how charities can have this effect on their supporters.

How can you surprise?

- By showing, sending or talking about something we've never heard before.
- By saying thank you, or giving feedback, just because 'you can'. When I least expect it. And not attached to an ask.
- By asking me to 'do something' occasionally that doesn't involve opening my wallet.

So how can you delight?

- By reminding me why it's gifts like mine, however small, that have a cumulative effect. Again, when it wasn't expected.
- By using inclusive language that makes me feel part of a special group.
- By finding ways to genuinely bring me a step closer to the work I support.

It's fair to say I'll return to the scene of tonight's dinner.

Surprise and delight. A simple concept with significant impact.



Tara Lepp said...

I'm always amazed how surprised we are when someone does something that is so genuinely nice for us. You are so right, it is just a simple gesture that can be unexpected that can surprise and delight us as people and our donors.

If everyone did that in life and in fundraising, we would all be a lot happier and the rewards would be great.

Jonathon Grapsas said...

So true Tara. I was so taken abaack last night that it made me think about the impact of something so simple.

And always love finding a good analogy for charities... :)