8 ways you might be chasing away your best donors

Like any relationship, how you behave toward your donors matters. Your actions can determine whether donors stay with you or move their support elsewhere.

From the Veritus Group Blog, here are some of the most common donor-losing actions you should watch out for, at Eight Ways to Lose Your Donor:

  1. Ignore what they are interested in. Donors give to make specific wonderful things happen. Make that the heart of your connection with them.
  2. When your donor gives, thank them whenever you can get around to it. The quicker you thank them, the better. It shows them that their donation matters to you.
  3. Send your donor a boiler plate thank-you letter. Thank them for the same thing you asked them for! Don’t change the subject.
  4. Don’t bother to tell your donor how their giving made a difference. Be specific. Don’t assume they just know.
  5. If you see your donor at an event, don’t mention which specific program they gave to. Their gift matters. You should keep it top of mind.
  6. If your donor put your organization in their will, then the deal is done. Keep talking to them.
  7. Think of your donor as a prospect. Remember, charitable giving is a relationship, not a series of transactions.
  8. If your donor has a complaint or concern, just ignore it. A complaint is an opportunity. Never miss the chance to deal with their issues.

The sad thing about these eight mistakes is how often they are committed by well-meaning fundraisers who really want to get things right — but simply let these things happen.


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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.

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