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Love notes, Christmas updates and dialogue


Like you, I’m a donor. To Agros, to social justice organizations, my local film festival and my beloved alma mater. I love philanthropy. That’s why I’m in this business. When you live with a sense of generosity, believing that you have more than enough, that perception becomes real. Giving makes me feel powerful, connected, and whole.


When I give to my favorite organizations, it also feels a bit like falling in love. These organizations share my values & tell me so. They recognize my faithfulness. I get stories in the mail and personal thank you calls. But, I’ve also felt my love story with some organizations sour. I know what it’s like to have my emails ignored, or feel harassed with nameless phone calls, or cringe at a sterile, robotic acknowledgement.


As a fellow donor & the communications person here, I want to be sure that your experience with Agros fits my first description: a love story. You deserve to be respected, cherished, and delighted in your relationship with us. And at the heart of every successful relationship is good communication.


With the new year beginning, I wanted to lay out what I think good communication looks like and hear your thoughts:


Delightful & inspiring storytelling, aka “Love notes”

Love requires gestures large & small, both surprise trips to Paris and sticky notes in your lunch. For you, this means our letters and emails should sound like real people, feel personal, make you chuckle sometimes and tear up others. Boring isn’t allowed. Neither is institutional. This pillar of good communication drives us to craft amusing facebook posts, spin yarns in the blog, and share extraordinary tales of family transformation in our newsletters and events.


Accountable & transparent reporting, aka “Christmas updates”

I love a good Christmas update from an old friend, when I get the full scoop on their year: good, bad, and ugly. In 2016, we’re building a new dashboard to provide transparent updates to you on the families and communities you’ve invested in. We’ll report to you on family & community progress towards prosperity in areas like health, financial empowerment, food security, and overall vulnerability.


Opportunities to learn & share, aka “Dialogue”                            

Good communication is a two-way street. This fall Alberto Solano, our new Executive Director, kicked off “Donor Dialogues,” an open invitation for you to be an ongoing partner in conversation, learning what we’re learning and engaging with us on strategy and priorities. Do you have an important question or an area of expertise or network related to our work? Email us anytime at


I wrote these imagining myself in your shoes, but since I haven’t actually mastered body-snatching yet, please let me know how I did. Is this what you want to hear from us? Is something missing? Send me a note or call 206.528.1066 x108.


   Anna Lehn

   Marketing & Communications Manager



This entry was posted on Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 6:25 PM
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