Monday, January 11, 2010

Nonprofit Sins

One of the worst possible sins a nonprofit can commit is that of not saying:“Thank You!” in a language that their donors respond to.

It is the responsibility of the nonprofit, not the donor, to make the connection in order to build a lasting relationship. Donors need to be fed more than just information, but also need to be made to feel a part of the organization.

Nonprofits like many individuals tend to think in a linear mode. Meaning they see the world from left to right, from smallest to largest, and in alphabetical order. However, while this seems perfectly clear the problem is that not all donors will respond to what seems to be nothing but a rote response that required no thinking at all on the part of the nonprofit.

Some donors are fragmented thinkers meaning their life is not one that simply moves from point “a to b” in a straight line. However, rote responses i.e. a form thank you letter or donation receipt does nothing to stimulate a sense of appreciation but instead creates a vacuum.

Likewise, I am reminded of an animated cartoon character named Droopy, an anthropomorphic dog, a basset hound with a droopy face. This unassuming character is probably closer to many of your donors than you might realize. You mistake the monotone response of: “I’m so happy” as one that doesn’t care about your nonprofit only to find like in the cartoon this little guy has some incredible strength and is not bad after all, and he really is happy.

So, it is the responsibility of the nonprofit to find out how to satisfy their donor! Is your donor happy?

If nonprofits fail to take this challenge head on then they will be in purgatory until they learn the lessons of what it means to be thankful for every gift and individual.

To learn more visit:


Tim Tipton said...

For the past 2 years, I have been reading up and studying different things to open a foundation in my mothers honor. So far your website has been very useful information. Thank you very much for what you do. If people were smart, they would read all of your postings. I owned and operated 2 Antique malls for several years, it isn't a easy job to do running a retail store or even a "business"..

Nonprofitexpert said...

Thanks Tim for your comment. You might want to consider exploring with a local community foundation the possibility of establishing a donor advised fund. This option can be much easier than establishing your own foundation, yet it will still accomplish the same purpose, which is to honor your mother!