December 3, 2021
We are currently midway through the Jewish festival of Chanukkah. (If this spelling is odd to you, please know that it is almost impossible to transliterate the Hebrew “ch”. It is usually pronounced with an “H”). Truth be told, it is not one of the major Jewish holy days (like Yom Kippur or Passover) but has become more recognized as it often coincides with the holiday season. In actuality, Chanukkah moves around the calendar based on the Jewish lunar calendar, but that is a discussion for later.
How are These Pronounced?
Practically every religion has a holiday at this time of year. The biggest is Christmas, but others like Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, Greek Orthodox New Years’, the Chinese Dōngzhì Festival, Indian Lohri, and others come up around this same time. While I wouldn’t ordinarily advocate profiling your donors in the database, I would suggest that this information be something to record. Just a little acknowledgment by your organization shows that you have taken the time and effort to get to know the individual.
I have always maintained that good donor relations are what separates great charities from good charities. Going the extra mile to understand your stakeholders is going to help you in the long run. Everybody does the generic Best Wishes card (including my dentist), but few take the time to personalize these cards.
Some of these holidays are actual holy days, while some are secular in practice. When it comes to practicing religion, however, it is interesting to note that those that attend religious services regularly (pre-COVID, of course) donate more to charity than those that don’t. It is an interesting anecdote that may help you understand your constituents better. To clarify a question, I do not take offense when folks wish me a Merry Christmas. As a matter of fact, I have used that phrase quite often with others.
So, whatever holiday you celebrate (even Festivus without shiny tinsel) and however it is pronounced Happy Holidays!
Until next week.