One tiny report makes a tremendous amount of difference, because it closes the giving loop.
Just last week I heard about some MGOs who closed the reporting-back loop successfully, but another didn’t. The contrast is stunning.
Those that closed the loop told their donors that their gifts made a difference, and they had the following relational experiences:
- A $5K donor was asked for $6K but gave $75,000
- A $10K donor gave $100K
- A donor who gave $100K last year gave $350K three months ago – then gave another $250K last month.
What is the critical difference? Reporting back and telling the donor that their gift made a difference.
That’s it. Nothing more. Just that act alone is powerful to the donor, as they realizes that what they dreamed about doing actually happened!
And then there is this story…
A donor from a Midwest charity (not a client of Veritus Group) had regularly been giving $400,000 a year to a specific project in a Midwestern city you would immediately recognize if I mentioned it.
The MGO had done a fantastic job of matching the donor’s passions and interests to this project, which is why the donor got on board.
But the MGO could not get information from the program people to give to the donor to tell him “you made a difference.” He tried and tried, but no good and specific information was forthcoming.
So, yep, you guessed it. This good donor had been giving a substantial amount every year, but he just went away.
Because he didn’t KNOW he made a difference through his giving.
Reporting back makes a tremendous difference. But for some reason it just does not happen as it should – more times than you will believe.
It’s a disease that’s endemic to the non-profit world. We have gotten really good at getting money. But we have, essentially, made very little progress on fulfilling the promise that donors would make a difference if they gave.
Let me personalize a bit. How do you feel when you do something for someone and they never mention it? How do you feel when you write someone an email – someone who is a “good” friend – and they just ignore you? How do you feel when you thought you had a good, mutual, transparent relationship with someone, and then you find out you don’t?
You feel terrible. You feel betrayed. You feel diminished. And it hurts.
That is what happens when you’ve worked so hard on the front end to get the donor to give the money but then there is silence or, at the most, an inadequate response on the back-end after the gift.
Think about this dynamic with all of your caseload donors. How can you close the giving loop and report back to your donors in the coming weeks?
This post originally appeared on the Passionate Giving Blog on November 24, 2017.