The Importance of Saying (and Hearing) “Thank You”

Dear Kim:

I give away a fair amount of money in $100-$250 increments, and sorting through some papers, I realized that I had supported about 20 organizations.  I was personally thanked by four of them, and got a generic thank you postcard from three of them, and nothing from the rest.  A friend says I am just being petty and high maintenance and my “generosity” is actually self-serving, but is that true?  Or is it OK to want to be acknowledged?

~Pathetic or Prophetic?

Dear Prophetic:

Your “friend” has quite a high opinion of her own ability to judge others!  I don’t know if you are petty, high maintenance or self-serving but since most of us are a little of all those, then you probably are.  However, wishing to be thanked for donations you have made is not proof of any of that.  Human self-worth depends on knowing that who you are and what you do is valuable. A thank you note is a very small acknowledgement of that.  At a way more practical level, people who are thanked are more likely to give than those who don’t, and one does have to wonder about an organization’s ability to make the world a better place when they can’t even find the time to observe this small courtesy.

~Kim Klein