But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.
1 Thessalonians 3:6
Has this happened to you as a manager? You assign a task. You are giving yourself extra credit for assigning a date when the task is due. Well done! And yet, you still see it unchecked on the status report. You don’t hear about what happened next. You’re waiting to proceed, and there are crickets.
Assigning a task means that you give the task, a due date, and a reporting mechanism. Whether that’s a quick email with the report, a chat or direct message to let you know it’s completed, or the expectation of the person sharing about how it went at the next status meeting, reporting back is important.
In previous posts, we’ve explored how to have an effective meeting and why we can count each visit with a donor as a success. Meeting with a donor is great, and having the meeting is great, but without a way to communicate the good work being done, the communication void kills any forward motion.
Reporting back is important when it comes to donor relationships. I’m sure you can think of a nonprofit you gave to, and there’s silence about how the project went, or if all the funds were raised to kick off the program, or if the meals were purchased. Or, perhaps you were a savvier donor and elected to give an unrestricted gift (meaning, “where most needed”), but you never heard from the nonprofit again.
Yeah, that’s happened to me, too.
So, if you work in a nonprofit, report back on the good work being done. Whether you are responsible for internal items that push a project forward, or an external-facing fundraiser, reporting back is what we see in 1 Thessalonians 3:6. Paul, the author of 1 Thessalonians, talks about how Timothy brought a report back of good news. It increased Paul’s desire to visit himself. Reporting back on the project or to a donor during a visit bolsters the emotional connection and motivation to see it through to the end.
Here’s a bonus challenge: finish reading 1 Thessalonians 3. What do you notice in the chapter that indicates Paul encouraging and stewarding the relationship? How would you feel if this letter was originally directed to you?
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© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.