Ready to Grow?

Donor Fatigue: Your Donors Will Get Tired If...

Posted by Scott Barron on Mar 4, 2014 2:05:28 PM
Scott Barron

Your donors will get tired if...

...the only time they hear from you is whendescribe the imageyou’re asking for money.

They need to know you’re genuinely interested in them. You’re engaging in conversation and cultivating mindshare.

...they are unable to connect the gift with the impact.

If that pledge card and thank you note are all they see of you, you’re in trouble. If they can’t look in somebody’s eyes and see the impact they’ve made, be proud of it, and share the story, they will get tired of giving to you. Show pictures, show hard data, and share stories. don’t listen and seek their advice.

This doesn’t mean that donors are directing the school--we would never advocate a situation where the school is essentially for sale. However, you want to be engaging and seeking their advice. For the most part these are successful people who can be an asset in challenging situations. It’s a way to demonstrate respect and cultivate the relationship.

...they feel like the lone giver who is propping up the school.

We have seen this from major donors that have funded a few campaigns, but really don’t understand who else is giving. Yes, they love the vision, but are they missing something? Where’s everybody else? Donors need to feel like part of a team and know they’re contributing to a bigger picture.

...your vocabulary is exclusively school-centric.

Illustrating the curse of knowledge, educators tend to get caught up in their own world of eduspeak. The rest of the world doesn’t talk like school people. How can you adjust by talking in terms of their interests and adopting their vocabulary? fail to help them expand their network.

This is part of the give and take of a healthy donor relationship. You want to help them make other connections in your school and community. LinkedIn is a great way to keep up with them and their company on a professional basis in order to make meaningful connections. Remember, you want mindshare, where donors are consistently thinking about you.

Here’s the inconvenient truth:

If you’re experiencing donor fatigue, it’s because your donors may be tired of you. They’re not tired of giving.

They’re tired of having to work so hard just to be able to have a relationship with you and your institution to want to give. Consider how you might create a relationship with your donors that can be compelling, engage them, and get them excited about your vision moving forward.

There are so many people out there who are asking for money, but you have the incredibly noble calling of inspiring the dreams of your faculty and students -- that’s an amazing story to share with donors!

Topics: Fundraising, Board Culture

Subscribe to Weekly Email Updates

Recent Posts