Gifts in memory – what follow up is appropriate?

burning memorial candles

People often times create a tribute at a charitable organisation when their loved one passes away. They will often times request people to give a donation to designated charities in lieu of flowers. Gifts in memory are a beautiful way to memorialise someone and to also support nonprofit organisations important to the survivors or to the loved one who has died.

The charitable organisations work hard to acknowledge the gifts made in memory of the person as quickly as possible. Nonprofit organisations focus on the processing of these gifts and sending notifications to the designated family member.  But, what sort of follow up is done once the gifts start to trickle off?

Perhaps charities might do a better job maintaining contact with the survivors a few months after the tribute period and, likewise, make contact on the anniversary of their love one’s death. Not only is this a humane and meaningful thing to do for the family who will continue to grieve for the rest of their lives, but it is also a prudent act as part of your stewardship activity. It shows the family you truly care and, at the same time, may cause them to remember your charity on the anniversary of the death and/or the next time a sad or happy occasion requires a tribute. It is a safe bet to assume a hand written note or a phone call a few months after the death and, again, on the anniversary of the death will be most welcome.