Adeela Warley: The power of saying thank you

Expressions of gratitude create strong, collaborative ties and pave the way to lasting relationships

When did you last say thank you? How did it make you and the person being thanked feel? Whether it was for something big or small, I’ll bet it felt good and raised a spontaneous smile.

Psychologists and counsellors have long told us that expressing gratitude improves mental and physical health, increases our ability to empathise, and fosters high self-esteem.

Charity communicators and fundraisers know the power of a good thank you – making it personal, heartfelt and timely.

Finding creative ways to celebrate and acknowledge supporters takes time, but crafting a great letter, email or film is time well-invested.

The charity sector’s social media bursts using #YouMadeItHappen and #ReclaimSocial provide a framework for celebratory storytelling. And last year, Samaritans held a thank you day for their heroic volunteers – never more needed than in the pandemic.

On Sunday 4 July, more than 16 million Brits are planning to take part in the country’s first national ‘Thank You Day’, by joining in community events to thank each other and build the community spirit that so many of us felt during lockdown.

So many personal and professional things have merited my thanks in 2020/21.

My partner, for sharing a home office with good humour and tolerance; the NHS, for my jabs; the corner Co-op store for keeping my cat fed; and, of course, the amazing charity communications teams that have overcome all the challenges and led their organisations through such testing times.

Expressions of gratitude create strong, collaborative ties and pave the way to lasting relationships.

Who will you be saying thank you to on 4 July?

Adeela Warley, is chief executive of CharityComms

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