Why value?“I just don’t understand why they won’t give!”
Jeff and I hear some version of this statement every week. And to many MGOs it is a mystery that confuses and frustrates them.
Why is it so hard to persuade a donor to give? Why is it so hard to get them to talk to you? Why won’t they engage?
Does all of this have to be so hard?
No, it doesn’t.
But you have to come at it from a different place.
The problem is that for as long as charitable work has existed, most of the charity insiders have been peddling themselves – what they do, how good they are, how wonderful their process is, the great success they have had, etc.
And for all of that time the donors have been coming in the front door of every non-profit we know and going out the back door at alarming rates.
You have to stop and ask yourself why this is happening.
Think about it. Why does a donor stop giving or give less?
Before we get into that, let me ask you a question: except when you are obligated to, or you have a longer-term motive, you rarely do anything you don’t want to do, do you?
In other words, you mostly do stuff that is of value to you. We all do. We spend time with folks we like to spend time with. We spend our time and money doing things we want to do.
A donor is no different. The release of their money, from them to your organization, is a clear sign that they value what you are promising to DO with that money.
Keep this one point in mind: they are doing something they value.
So if all of that is true (which it is), then it is also true that when the donor goes away or starts giving less (except for a life circumstance), they leave because they are not receiving value in return for their giving.
They are doing exactly what you would do when you are thinking about how to spend your time and money. There is no difference.
After considering that, ask yourself the question: “Why is the donor I am relating to not talking to me or not giving?”
Because they don’t believe you’re giving them anything of value in return. That’s why.
That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing.
No value from you. No gift to you. No wanting to talk. No time for you. Etc.
It is so amazing to me that so many thought leaders in this field of major gifts have either not processed this basic reality in major gifts or are just not giving it the light of day it deserves.
You can have the best program, the most wonderful solutions, the most talked-about brand, the greatest compelling argument – and still have silence on the other end of the line if you don’t deliver something of value to your donor.
And here is how that is done. We have said it before. You might get frustrated to hear the same thing again because it is not some creative, fireworks, drum-roll magic bullet you are looking for. But here it is:
Find that donor’s interests and passions and give them something of value that relates to them. (Tweet it!)
There – that’s it. The answer to why a donor won’t give.
Think about all of this. Then re-order how you are doing things. Start with figuring out what your donor values. Then deliver that. It will change everything.