Visit.“There’s no point in visiting a donor if you’re not going to ask for a gift on that visit!”
So said the manager in the non-profit.
And he’s dead wrong.
That’s the worst thing you can do. Because it shows that all you care about is the money – that the only reason you’re sitting with the donor right now is to reach into his wallet or her purse and grab as much as you can.
And that, my friend, is very off-putting.
When you make your relationship with your caseload donor all about the money, your very essence has a stench to it. The donor will eventually run away. You’ve had the experience. You do something nice for someone, and their response is essentially, “what else you gonna do for me?” It doesn’t feel good.
Your relationship with your donor should have a unique and personalized cadence to it. You’ve identified her passions and interests, and the driver behind them. And now you’re focused on sending her content that interests her – stories and information that will feed her desire to help in those areas she cares about.
It might be appropriate to ask for a gift during the visit you’re having with your donor tomorrow. And it might not – because more needs to be processed, there are other questions and observations, or it’s more appropriate to share how past giving has made a difference.
You’re in a relationship with the donor. The donor is not a bank where you come to withdraw money.
Please be sure you have this straight in your head – and your heart.
Jeff and I know that you’re under a lot of pressure to raise money – and that is a legitimate concern and reason for all the energy you have. You must provide your program folks with the net revenue they need to do the very thing your non-profit is organized to do. I understand that. I’ve been there myself.
That knot in the stomach, and those sleepless nights worrying about this stuff – that’s not easy to ignore. But you mustn’t take that energy into your donor relationship. When you’re in that sacred room, it’s not about you and your goals, or the organization’s financial deficits. It’s about the donor and their vision for the planet. (Tweet it!)
What an incredibly special place to be! If you bring your “stuff” into that room, it will change the dynamic, and it will change the relationship in terribly negative ways. Don’t let that happen.
Richard