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​Weathering the ‘Lows’

We have had many conversations these past few months with clients who are more than a little concerned about spoken and unspoken decisions by donors concerning future support. If you’re looking for some suggestions regarding how to approach these individuals, here you go:


  • Speak personally to every person who reaches out with concerns. There is no substitute for gracious and transparent dialogue.  Though you may not win over everyone, you’ll at least have the opportunity to shine (or re-shine) a light on your mission and its potential impact.

  • Communicate proactively by intentionally highlighting specific areas like clients, board members, volunteers, or your plan. Remember, there are times when your supporters need to be reminded of the impact of your mission and how their support is integral to helping others.

  • If there are donors who have told you they are pausing or stopping their support,  it would be a good idea to do some research on them. It would probably also be a good idea to do the same with those who didn’t tell you. Who lapsed? What was their value? Were they new or recurring donors? Did they have certain giving patterns? Would they be open to you reaching out to them to talk? If you have the data, you can draw better conclusions about what really happened to their giving and what you can do about it.


Remember, every organization will experience controversy, down times, ‘lows’ whether or not it’s deserved. Those who are clear in their response and stay true to their work will always weather the passing ‘lows’ that stormy times bring.

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