Fifth in a Series: Unhealthy Major Gift Practices
Walk into a store with nothing to sell on its shelves, and you will walk out.
There’s nothing of value in there for you. Nothing.
You know the feeling of going into a store that’s fully loaded with product, but there’s nothing in there you’re interested in. You look around quickly, and then you walk out – thinking you’ll never go in there again.
It has happened to all of us – many times.
And it happens to donors all the time.
They are interested in your cause, but you have nothing of value to share with them. Why? Because your organization has not done the hard work of packaging the organizational budget into donor offers (read products).
This topic fascinates me because it is so logical that a non-profit should KNOW this – and it is so illogical that they don’t.
Think about this: You have $1,000. You are interested in the cause – in fact, you are interested in a specific emphasis the organization has. But no one in the organization can tell you what they would do with your $1,000. Why would you hand the money over? You wouldn’t. That’s why many donors don’t give – OR if they do, they give far below their capacity.
Jeff and I, and our team, have experienced the difference this makes in scores of organizations we have worked with. We’ve seen a $5,000-a-year donor give $4 million because something of real value has been presented to her. Or a $10,000-a-year donor gives $257,000 instead. And we’ve seen many more.
You can see the logic of it. But why don’t we do it?
The answer is summed up in the comment one CEO made to me several months ago: “Richard, everything’s fine. We don’t need to give them that level of detail. The donors trust and love us, and they will give because we ask them to.”
It doesn’t work that way, sir. And the proof that I’m right about this can be seen in the continuing struggle to raise money in that very organization.
The major reason most organizations haven’t made the effort to prepare donor offers for their good donors is an arrogant and ignorant authority figure inside the organization who believes that donors should just pass them the money no matter what.
And this is so sad. They themselves would not part with their hard-earned money under similar circumstances. But they require their donors to do it. That’s why those donors are fleeing in record numbers.
Remember, a donor deserves respect. And the ultimate sign of respect is an insider who will offer the donor something that they truly value to spend their money on and will then report back on how it all went. (Tweet it!)
At Veritus Group, we offer comprehensive help on creating donor offers. And many large and small organizations worldwide are making the effort to present offers of value to their good donors. These are the trailblazing organizations who will survive into the next decade.
Why? Because they truly care for the donor and routinely offer them investment choices that they value. You should do the same.
Read all the posts in this series: