"Colette M. Murray – a former San Diego resident and recent chairwoman of the 26,000-member Association of Fundraising Professionals based in Alexandria, Va. – says arts organizations should avoid giving members and donors tchotchkes such as coffee mugs, paper weights and beach towels.
“There are organizations that give out too many useless gifts to donors,” Murray said. “They are costly and, for the most part, they are really not appreciated. Few people make a gift because they will get a plaque or a coffee mug. I suggest organizations give items that are unique or that will surprise the recipient. Send flowers on Valentine's Day, on a birthday, at Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah.”"