Roses are Red

by Marcy Heim on February 10, 2021

Script for sending Valentine’s love!

Roses are red

It’s tough to play Euchre with only 3…almost impossible, in fact. Bluntly then, when someone dies you generally replace the “couple” with another “couple.”  I mean, it takes 4 to play the card game. 

And so begins the challenging, and lonely, journey of being just one. And left out.

As one of the youngest fundraisers hired at the U of Wisconsin – dying was a long ways off and frankly, of no concern to me.  But as I grew closer and closer to my donors –vibrant couples who celebrated life-long learning and cutting-edge research, faculty/emeritus faculty members and their spouses, industry leaders who met their spouses at the UW….a different picture emerged.  One CAN be the loneliest number – especially at Valentine’s Day.  While your friends and family remember your birthday and key holidays after a death or divorce, Valentine’s Day is more a “couples-thing.”

As far back as 1984, I began sending Valentine notes – and sometimes children’s Valentines – silly almost – to all of my “solo” donors. Each one contained a personalized line after the traditional, “Roses are Red, Violets are blue….”  The response was overwhelming.

Chocolates & flowers

You may have your V-Day system in place…GREAT!  Yet, in these remarkable times, you may wish to change it up a bit. If this holiday goes by un-noticed in your shop – NOW is the time to take some action. Do check on in-person comfort for visits and cards, chocolate and flowers always draw a tear. REMEMBER – This is for MAJOR DONORS where you are creating an amazing donor experience.  You may well do a more generic mailing to your smaller donors and friends – but I’m talking about your personalized major donor experiences – folks you already know and are excited to deepen your relationship with.

Regardless of what you send, or if your budget prevents this, I believe our best action THIS YEAR is text or phone.  Did you know that leaving a message has been shown to be as effective as talking in person?

Here are sample scripts for sharing your thoughts – you can leave these as a message or the start of a short conversation. Use these or make up your own! Remember, I knew many of my donors for over 20 years — and we had close relationships – but do what is AUTHENTIC for you.  It’s the time to relax the “professional” piece – seems obvious, but in my coaching I know it’s not.

“Hi Gladys, Marcy here. Roses and Red, Violets are Blue, your Nutritional Science scholars love you and I do too!  Happy Valentine’s Day!”

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Tyron! It’s Marcy. Roses are Red, Violets are blue, basketball is rocking because of investors like you!  Thank you and On Wisconsin!”

“Victoria, Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, you shine so bright and we appreciate you! Happy Valentine’s Day.”

A few Valentine Greeting tips:

1. Each message needs to fit the donor you are connecting with.

2. As many as you reach, you reach – prioritize your list – those who have lost spouses/partners recently, or ever lost a spouse/partner, top 30 major donors, your board, key stakeholders, long-time donors at all levels, and those who will just love it!

3. You can batch enter these contact screens or enter the specific verse – better batched than nothing at all.

4. Past February 14? Who cares!  This Valentine-y time can be extended and will still be appreciated.  It’s never too late to send holiday cards, sympathy cards or Valentine’s greetings. 

5. Prepare to personally be flooded with JOY.  

Chocolate heart

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue – it’s an honor and a privilege to lift up philanthropy with you! May the chocolate flow.

Invest in JOY®

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