If a person or organization spends lots of time currying your favor, and you finally succumb and give to that person or organization, then you hear nothing more, until the next time they need something, don’t you feel burned? Even burned up? It’s as if you asked your friends to help you move your stuff to a new house, then didn’t even offer them a Coke or pizza or call them until the next time you moved.
I wouldn’t call that person a friend. I’d call that person an ungrateful leech.
A couple of weeks ago, in response to a plea from a friend who’s now running an organization that needs money, I wrote a check. Not a big one, but big in comparison to the ones and fives people were throwing into a money jar. My name and address were on the check, and her organization has my e-mail address. So I expected a quick thank-you note or call… or something.
A couple of weeks later, I’m still waiting. Now I’ve received more requests for giving from this friend. And I’ve been feeling a little miffed about it. I’ve tried to convince myself that if I gave out of desire for some kind of honor or thanks, I ought to just get over it. But I gave for two reasons: One, it was a good cause, and two, the person asking was a friend.
Still, the words “Thank you!” would have been nice to hear, on the phone, via e-mail, or by mail. Especially before I heard “I need…” again. Those two words are magical keys. They unlock the giver’s heart and mind and create a good feeling that makes the giver even more likely to give in the future.
If someone contributes time, energy or money to you or your organization, always remember to say the magic words, “Thank you!” Be just as diligent about saying “Thank you!” as you are about asking in the first place. It takes so little energy or time, it’s foolish not to. That is, if you want to be seen in a positive way. Otherwise, hey, fuhgeddaboudit!