From the Nominator
National Gratitude Month in November encourages all of us to embrace and reflect on the power of gratitude, and celebrate all of our reasons to be grateful. Each November, the University of Miami’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) joins forces with departments, units, schools, and colleges throughout the institution to create and implement a month-long gratitude project to recognize trustees, alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and students. Through meaningful stewardship communications that conveyed our “attitude of gratitude,” we showed donors, alumni, and friends our appreciation for their continued support of the University of Miami.
In the uniquely challenging circumstances of 2020, DAR rolled out its most robust Gratitude Month to date. Spearheading a month-long multi-channel campaign during these unprecedented times did not come without its challenges: much of our staff was working remotely, and the university had weathered significant budget cuts. Nonetheless, our division understood that in times such as these, the simple act of saying “thank you,” along with demonstrating the impact of philanthropy, was of the utmost importance. Led by our Donor Experience team, all participating areas were asked to develop gratitude-centric and area-specific strategies. Leadership and deans throughout the institution, including our medical campus, jumped on board to join the effort. The end result was a comprehensive, thoughtful, targeted stewardship effort that showed in myriad ways how we say “thank you” to our friends and donors, the Miami way.
From the Judges
During a time of COVID, having a focus on gratitude seemed very fitting. We appreciated the thoughtful and comprehensive nature of this program. Lasting 21 days, including schools and department across campaign, as well as utilizing multiple platforms to give thanks, was so very impressive. This program can be scaled up or down so other institutions could launch a similar program or choose portions of it. We loved that they used a faculty member whose research focused on emotion to show the positive effectives of gratitude. So smart to connect this back to the research.