I heard a striking insight recently from Rabbi Yaakov Deutscher.

He’s the executive director for one of our long-time clients, KTA. It was something I had never thought of before, and I asked if I could share it with my readers. With Rabbi Deutscher’s go-ahead, here we are.

The conversation was about our recent video together, since I was in the middle of writing up a case study to talk about our process and way of addressing the school’s goals.

We turned to the topic of honoree videos, which we’ve also produced together. These are those videos that are shown at annual dinners or gala events, where an organization celebrates the contributions of a particularly valued supporter. This tradition is intended to inspire everyone involved and motivate them to keep accomplishing great things.

Rabbi Deutscher told me, however, that it can actually be very difficult to recruit honorees for these events.

There’s a perception problem—a bit of a stigma.

Many people worry that by accepting the invitation to be the honoree, they will end up feeling burdened rather than privileged.

After all, honorees aren’t just guests at the annual dinner; they’re essential participants. Often, honorees are presumed to be a draw for guests, or even help recruit them; they may assist with fundraising or be expected to make a donation of their own. For busy people, or in harder times, this may not be the most appealing prospect.

If an organization truly wants to make this offer feel like an honor, it can’t be an honor in name only.

You can’t just ask for help – you need to show that your appreciation and gratitude are genuine.

Investing in video, Rabbi Deutscher explained, was a wonderful way to accomplish this. It showed the effort the school was willing to put in; it also articulated the story of this relationship, the connection between the individual and the organization, in a vivid, impressive, emotional way. It made the evening memorable, and it served as a keepsake, a record of the accolade, that honorees could share with their children and grandchildren for years to come.

I’m very curious whether other organizations have had the same experience. I’d love to hear from you.

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