Something you might be doing that’s alienating your donors

There’s something you might be doing that’s alienating many of your donors. You might not even notice that you’re doing it.

Michael Rosen Says that harmful thing you’re doing is putting a strong public emphasis on the heroic giving of your very top donors: Want More Donors and More Money?

Public thanking of your high-end donors can have a hidden downside:

When people see that only mega-donors are celebrated, they can begin to think that their support is unnecessary and not genuinely appreciated

Here’s what to do instead:

  1. Thank mega-donors, but not to the exclusion of others.
  2. Recognize a broad mix of supporters.
  3. Communicate that all gifts are important and explain why.
  4. Tell prospects and donors how their gift will make a difference.
  5. Take a few moments to list the ways your organization shows prospects and donors that it truly cares about and values them. Then, list 10 things your organization can do to show it cares, but that it is not yet doing.

Every donor needs to know her giving makes a difference and is appreciated. Don’t accidentally tell her that her involvement is small potatoes for your organization.


Comments

4 responses to “Something you might be doing that’s alienating your donors”

  1. And celebrate longevity as well as gift size. Those long-term donors – even “small” ones – can be the lifeblood of an organization. And may leave their biggest gift after they’re gone as a bequest.

  2. And celebrate longevity as well as gift size. Those long-term donors – even “small” ones – can be the lifeblood of an organization. And may leave their biggest gift after they’re gone as a bequest.

  3. One of my favorite examples of this is Alex’s Lemonade Stand. They make great efforts recognizing fundraisers of all types, regardless of the amount raised. It keeps supporters coming back for more, and it makes them stand out as a stellar nonprofit.
    Look – I’m even leaving a comment on a blog post about how amazing they are!

  4. One of my favorite examples of this is Alex’s Lemonade Stand. They make great efforts recognizing fundraisers of all types, regardless of the amount raised. It keeps supporters coming back for more, and it makes them stand out as a stellar nonprofit.
    Look – I’m even leaving a comment on a blog post about how amazing they are!

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.