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Exhausted Donors? I Doubt It

Are you afraid that you’re tiring your donors out? While it’s probably a good thing to be concerned about this, I have a different thought: maybe it’s more boredom than it is exhaustion—especially if you’re sending communications that are about you and not them.

You see, donors don’t get tired supporting what they believe in and care about. They get tired because you’ve failed to inspire them and you haven’t inspired them because you haven’t talked to them about their impact.

The fact is that much more so than tired donors, you may have a case of donors who are on the verge of not caring. And that’s worse because a donor who has stopped caring is one who will likely stop giving.

The solution? Stop talking/communicating about what you do. Instead, focus on who donors help when they make gifts to your organization.

Here’s an example: don’t ask donors to give simply because they gave last year. Explain how their gifts will make a difference.

Tell stories about how a person or an outcome wouldn’t have been possible without the donor’s support. Consistently work at making the donor the hero. That’s when they’ll want to know how they can make an even greater impact.

Rescigno’s once worked with an organization that had been trying to connect donors to various holidays each month. They asked donors to give in May in honor of their mothers for Mother’s Day. This strategy was failing and as a result, income was off by quite a bit.

We led them back to why donors give a gift in the first place which was based on their mission. When we re-aligned their communications based on the mission of the organization, income jumped right back up.

We also asked them to think of themselves like a diamond. We emphasized that it was their job to communicate with their donors so that the message was new with different areas that the donor could choose to support.

Always be aware that donors receive many different communications from various organizations. Some they support. Others they may or may not. What you want to have is communications that are compelling and different each time you reach out to them.

Have a goal that each time you do send out a message that it will align with your mission and their passion for what you do. This will inspire donors to continue to give.

There is no magic bullet or secret formula to fundraising success. Just like with anything else in life, hard work and a disciplined approach usually result in success. Be consistent in your messaging as you connect your donors to the results or outcomes of their giving.

You’ll see the difference it will make.

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