Since when are you all knowing?

Got your attention?  Good.

There’s something bad that’s happening in lots of nonprofits and I don’t want it to happen to you.

You see, lots of well-meaning people are making decisions for their donors instead of letting their donor decide. 

They’re deciding how much their donors want to give and when they want to give, instead of letting the donor decide.  It’s rude and it hurts your fundraising.

Here’s an example.  Yesterday, I met with a wonderful, passionate woman who is Executive Director of a small nonprofit that is changing many lives for the better.  She was explaining to me how they keep in touch with their donors.  One strategy they use is to send gift summary letters out in January, but only to those donors who gave $200 or more during the year.

“Why?” I asked her.  I was shocked that they’d leave out so many donors and basically ignore them. She didn’t have a good answer.  Probably they do it to save money.  I explained to her that many of those “lower level” donors might be capable of giving much more if she spent a little time with them too.  She seemed to think that some of them had made a one-time gift.

I wanted to ask her “Since when are you all knowing?”  But I phrased it a little nicer than that.

The point is this:  unless you’re a mind-reader, you don’t know WHAT is going on inside a donor’s head and heart.  Don’t make decisions for them.  Don’t assume that “the economy is bad and people won’t give.”  Instead, give your donors the opportunity to give when and how much they want.

When you cut them out because you think you know what they’ll do, you definitely won’t raise any money.

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