A chance to say thank you and build engagement
Everyone at ShelterBox is gearing up for Thank You Day – an annual tradition to personally thank many of our supporters. Here, Phil Gilbert – our Supporter Care Manager – explains why everyone in the organisation takes the time to phone and say a personal thank you.
Thank You Day keeps us humble. It’s a great reminder of where our support and funding comes from – that golden thread that makes our responses in Ukraine, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Yemen possible. It’s also a lovely opportunity to make sure our supporters know how highly they are valued.
If it wasn’t for the generosity of our supporters, their energy, their ideas, and their donations ShelterBox would not be here today. We certainly wouldn’t have achieved all that we are so proud of – helping more than two million people across around 100 countries since we were formed in 2000.
Phil Gilbert, ShelterBox Supporter Care Manager
Our gratitude continues long after a donation is made, or a thank you letter has been sent. We want our supporters to know how vital their support is to people across the world who must flee their homes – whether that’s because of conflict, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or extreme weather events like hurricanes, flooding, landslides, or drought. We just want to say thank you in a meaningful way.
It’s such a positive and electric day. It’s a coming together moment where we can connect with each other and with our supporters. You really do get a feeling of the whole picture of how ShelterBox works: it starts with our supporters and it ends with the people who have been displaced receiving support. That really is something to marvel about.
A reason to say thank you. Abdul, a father of four, received ShelterBox aid after losing his home to flooding in Pakistan earlier this year. They are joyful to have a roof over their heads.
Thank You Day is a window into our supporters lives and that’s what makes it so exciting: we spoke to a supporter who was in the early stages of labour and was thrilled to be hearing from ShelterBox at a very special time in her life.
I also remember a supporter who was – sadly – dealing with the recent bereavement of her husband who had supported ShelterBox for the last 20 years. She felt it was a lovely reminder of her husband’s legacy – that was an emotional one.
And then you often (and quite by accident) end up speaking to family members or friends of staff at ShelterBox who are supporters too. Those are always fun conversations.
For me, the ones that always stand out, are when you speak to someone who shares that they have little to give but prioritises donations towards ShelterBox regardless. That’s a heart melt moment.
Phil speaking with our supporters on Thank You Day
The heart of charity fundraising is that you are offering a supporter the opportunity to be part of a solution to a problem. I genuinely believe that the ShelterBox solution is not just what can be achieved when we’re out on deployment but that our supporters can also be part of a community of people who believe in what we’re doing.
By taking a day to put a spotlight on our supporters, we pass back some of the gratitude that ShelterBox receives from the field. Hopefully, we can highlight just how impactful their support is and that is such an important message to deliver.
Without our supporters, we wouldn’t be able to help families after disaster. Read more about our set of standards for how we work and the service you can expect from us.
Another version of this blog also appears on Charity Comms