What’s In My Mailbox: “We brought a foundation back from the dead!”

February 8, 2017


2017 has already been a spectacular year for The Portland Children’s Museum in Portland, Oregon. Timothy Delaney, the museum’s Grants Manager, recently reached out to me to explain why, attaching a response letter that PCM’s Executive Director, Ruth Shelly, had written.

Tim explained,

“I think it’s a good example of “moving beyond the rote” when thanking institutional donors. It seems like we often forget that there really is an individual on the receiving end of that foundation’s address (I’ve been as guilty as anyone), and I thought I’d share it with you.”

Ruth Shelly communicated her utmost thanks on behalf of the entire organization, including the children, by sending the Foundation’s President, Scott Moore, a wonderful letter. Right out of the gate, she leads with gratitude, and she makes it unmistakably clear that the Foundation’s gift is about so much more than *just* the money. The clear connection she created between the gift and the children who benefit from the Museum is done in a way that humanity can totally relate to. She speaks to the child-like, innate curiosity that begins when we’re young but that we so often carry with us for the rest of our lives.

Ruth is ultra specific, explaining to Scott exactly where the money is going, how it will be utilized, and why the allotment of funds to these three resources is important to the Museum and its children as a whole.

Take a close look at how Ruth lays the foundation for a long-term, sustainable relationship between the Foundation and PCM. She mentions she will be in touch multiple times during the year so that she can continuously communicate how the Foundation’s funds are making the Museum’s wonderful work possible. Not only that, but she’s encouraged additional contact by providing Tim’s information so that the Foundation can reach out if they so desire.

It’s a great way to respond to a foundation grant, don’t you think?

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