It’s so easy to get rid of that mid, major, or planned giving donor on your caseload. Here’s how you do it:
Ignore what they are interested in.
Your donor has a specific interest as it relates to the mission of your organization. One of the best ways to get rid of them is to ignore that interest and just tell yourself they just generally love your organization and will give to you no matter what you send them.
When your donor gives, thank them whenever you can get around to it.
That could be next week, a couple of weeks from now, or whenever the back office can get to it. No rush. It’s just a gift. They can wait.
Send your donor a boiler plate thank-you letter.
No need to make it personal. That wastes time and money. Your donor doesn’t mind that you don’t know them or that you haven’t acknowledged what they gave to. Nah… no problem. You could just photocopy a thank-you and toss it in the mail. That will do the job.
Don’t bother to tell your donor how their giving made a difference.
They already know it made a difference. No need to waste time and space going over all of that.
If you see your donor at an event, don’t mention which specific program they gave to.
This is a good one. Because they know you are very busy, and you can’t remember everything. So, it will be no problem. Just nod knowingly when you meet them and say thank you. That’s all that is needed. Nothing more.
If your donor put your organization in their will, then the deal is done.
You can forget about it. It’s on paper. It’s signed. There’s nothing more to do. No need to regularly update the donor on what their planned gift will do. Now all you do is wait. No more expense related to this one.
Think of your donor as a prospect.
It doesn’t matter that they gave last month or two months ago. They’re a prospect for your next ask, your next push. When they give, they’re a donor, until the millisecond after they gave. Now, they are a prospect for the next round. This is the best way to think about donors, as the economic units that they are.
If your donor has a complaint or concern, just ignore it.
They’ll get over it. And if they don’t, they will need to just trust you and the organization. No need to spend time explaining things or listening to a different point of view. Tell them you have a board of directors that is watching out for the very thing they are concerned about, which is why they need not be concerned.
These are just a few of the ways to effectively lose your donor. There are many more. But you get the point. Everything I have written above is dripping with sarcasm. And you might be saying it is just not necessary to communicate this way or that this really does not happen as I have portrayed it. But the truth is that Jeff and I, and our team of frontline coaches, experience this kind of thinking and treatment of donors every day. It’s sad. Really sad.
This reflects transactional fundraising at its core, where people in non-profits view their donors as sources of cash and treat them in the most insensitive way, not realizing that that very treatment is costing them a boatload of money.
Of course, you don’t want to lose your mid, major, or planned gift donor! So, commit to serving your donor:
- Love, care for, and respect your donor.
- Treat them as you would want to be treated.
- Know your donor and use that knowledge to fulfill their passions and interests.
- Tell your donor, often, how their giving is making a difference.
- Listen to your donor – they have wisdom to share, even if you don’t always agree with their critique.
Always remember that it’s not a coincidence that your donor chose your organization to give to – there’s something bigger going on here. Treat this as a sacred duty you have to your donors.