For many non-profit organizations, achieving sustainable donor assistance remains a challenge. However, there are many willing donors out there waiting for an opportunity to contribute. Fund raising experts believe that mistakes made during the donor approach are the major cause for such situations. Therefore, it is necessary from the fundraisers point of view that they avoid such mistakes from the very beginning. This article will describe three major donor mistakes that could jeopardize a healthy relationship with a donor and the ways to avoid such mistakes in order to gain the maximum out of such donors.
Poor relationship with the donor before asking for donations
Many non-profit organizations try to lore their donors in the first meeting itself. Such an approach might work with some donors although with most donors, especially the ones that may want to continue donating in the future, it may be a bad approach. The key to having a major donor contributing regularly to the cause of the organization is the ‘close relationship’ developed between the donor and the organization. Therefore, it is advisable to spend some time building a relationship and getting close with a potential donor rather than asking for donations from day one. Getting to know each other will allow the donor as well as the organization to align each other’s interests and workout a sustainable relationship that will not end with the first donation.
Not recognizing the donors interests and emotions
In most instances, fundraisers tend to put forward their own emotions and interests rather than considering what their donors interests or emotions are. In such instances, donors might feel as if they are contributing to a cause that they do not necessarily consider as a priority. If this is the case, there is always the risk of losing such donors in the long run or else not to receive any donation at all. Therefore, fundraisers for non-profit organizations would do well by listening and trying to understand what the donor interests and emotions are at a particular time, and then align their interests and emotions with their potential donors to make the most of the relationship.
Not thinking of the donors as long-term partners
A mistake made by many organizations with their donors is to think of them as one time donors, or considering the first donation as if it is the ‘first and the only’. This will make organization demand the maximum donation at the first instance itself without thinking of the subsequent donations that might follow. According to experts, it is better to wait and build-up a long-term relationship with the donor and receive chunks of donations from time to time than receiving a ‘big’ donation first up and not to receive any thereafter.
Having described three of the major donor mistakes made in fundraising endeavors, it should be noted that depending on the cause and the type of donor, the approach should change. There is no one-size-fits-all policy with regard to approaching donors, as all donors will prefer their donations to be received by someone who values them for what they do in a personalized manner.