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August 15, 2014 Seven Ways to LOSE a Donor

When donors give to a non-profit, they are doing it for personal reasons. It may be a personal connection that they have with you. Or it may be they have a heart for a particular child connected to that non-profit or its area of research.  Regardless, retaining these donors is critical to the survival of your non-profit.       

1. DON’T Do What You Say You Will Do – It is easy to have a plan with the best intentions in mind.  Think through your programs thoroughly and have a multi-step process to accomplish the plan.  Then present it to your donors for support and carry through with the plan.

2. STOP Marketing to your Donors – Keeping donors on the top of your mind is important.  Continue to reach out to them via Facebook, newsletters, blogs, and events, always keeping them informed of your activities and accomplishments.  Continually ask for their feedback.  This will ensure their loyalty toward your organization.

3. Focus on NEW DONORS in Lieu of Your Longer Relationships and forget long time relationships. – We all like to be appreciated.  When your focus is on getting new donors/supporters, make sure you don’t forget the long time donors; you’ll lose them quickly if you do.

4. Contact Your Donors ONLY During Major Giving Events – Your donors are passionate people and value what you do, which is why they contribute.  But don’t communicate with them only when you need their money.

5. FAIL to Keep Agreements – You can meet or exceed expectations 99 percent of the time but the time you fail on an important issue could be the time the donor talks negatively to their friends.

6. FAIL to Ask About Their Priorities – Just because it is clear to you what your donor/supporter needs to do next, you may forget to take a step back and ask about their priorities and expectations in order for them to have the desire to give again.

7. SKIP Orientation – Both you and your donor want to be excited about the investment they’ve made in your organization. You may have delivered this in the funding “pitch”, but you can add to it by welcoming them to your non-profit family and celebrating their annual giving as partners as years pass.

Donor attrition can be more costly than employee turnover in direct and indirect dollars. As human resource experts will tell you, it is critical to retain and reward your top talent. The same theory applies to your valued donors.

Make every minute a revenue generating minute!


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