Sometimes Donors Just Give

December 23, 2015

I have always held the belief that it is important to help a donor to understand what their gift can mean to the organization. I get excited when I have the opportunity to partner a donor with a specific need. I love being able to tell a story about the difference that their gift or giving made. But what happens when your donor does not have that same interest?

I’ve started a number of donor prospecting conversations talking with donors about how they would like to make a difference in their community discussing what issues they are the very most passionate about. This is a great conversation starter for a lot of people enabling me to have a conversation about the kind of change that gets them the very most excited. But some people don’t think this way. Many don’t take an objective outsiders look at how they would like to impact their world. Talking about specific stories seems to have greater success in these kinds of conversations.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had a few conversations where I’ve discovered that I am rather limited in my understanding of how I’ve traditionally classified donors. I’ve spoken with a number of donors who make a regular gift in memory of a loved one who has passed away. My first expectation was that these individuals would want to give to improve the program or make a situation better for individuals who had a similar experience as them. But I have found, in this situation, they would like to be left alone and hearing to many details regarding the impact of their gift is too sensitive of an area to discuss.

I would love to hear from you. What conversations have you had with donors that did not happen in the way you expected? How do you handle ongoing donors that are made in memory of a loved one? How do you talk about impact with a donor who does not think that way?

Join the conversation at @infosmallchange #ascblog