There are numerous horror stories of donors who are too involved. They are eager to teach the organization’s management what they should do to run the organization. Can this be prevented? Donor Management System
Naturally, these horrific stories can be avoided. One way to stop it is to restrict what input donors can receive. Consider them as minor stockholders of a large company. They contribute money as well as receive reports. They also get invited to attend their annual meetings. Like the minor stockholders, they are active until a better chance arises.
In the current recession that swept through the country, a lot of stockholders who were minor left the market. The money they saved went in different investments, and many organizations were unable to sustain their funding. It is not surprising that many small donors have acted the similar in the same way. They changed their donations and many organisations have lost funding.
This is the drawback of not allowing donors to become active participants. They contribute small amounts and then leave when they are unhappy with the outcome.
The vast, enthusiastic and committed donors remained loyal throughout the downturn. Many of them cut back on their gifts. The process of reducing the gift is different from letting it go. Their gift will be renewed whenever they want because they have their passion and connection.
It’s unlikely that small-scale donors will come back , no matter how strong the economy is. They have lost their enthusiasm. They no longer feel connected. If they cease aiding an organization, they’re typically gone forever.
In the case of a contributor with a long-term record of giving They were passionate at some point. Their enthusiasm fueled their giving for a period of time. But, because of a lack of involvement, their enthusiasm diminished. The recession caused them to think about their charitable giving, and then the rest is the story.
The conclusion that we can draw is that although the over-involved donors pose problematic, under-involved donors are the biggest problem. The time when you require your donors most, in times of recession is when they are the ones who have to quit.
- Set a goal to have the most engaged donors across the country
- Keep your donors engaged all the time to ensure that their enthusiasm is high and growing
- Be on the lookout for signs of declining enthusiasm, and then give the donors your full attention
Passionate donors help maintain sustainability. The cultivation of their passion helps improve the sustainability. In the meantime, cultivating donor enthusiasm will build a stronger base for your long-term flow of funds for the time when the next downturn comes around.
Be aware that nonprofits are among the first to suffer an economic downturn (increase of demand) and also among the last to benefit from an upward trend (increase in donations). This means that they experience the shortest recovery time after each downturn. This is the perfect moment to lay the foundations for the next downturn.
Our next article “Setting the Boundaries for Giving” will investigate this subject more deeply.