How much does Donor Fatigue impact your school? Does this diagnosis have credibility or is this a symptom of a deeper issue?
What you place at the center of your relationship with donors is a big part of the answer. When you put yourself or money at the center, you position yourself as either a beggar or an egotist who is focused primarily on how donations benefit you. With Shared Vision at the core of your relationship with donors, however, you have the opportunity to build a consultative role that demonstrates mutual respect and collaborative success. They will see you an asset and expert who can help them accomplish their dreams and goals.
What could cause donor fatigue?
Disengaged with the Mission
Donors will get tired of giving to your school when they don't feel a connection with your mission. This can occur if they find other organizations to which they might give that have a more compelling motivation. Or perhaps they simply don't see the need for their gift anymore. Disengagement is difficult to overcome, which is why consistent relationship building is a critical part of fundraising or advancement.
Disengaged with the Leadership
They may not be tired of giving but they may be tired of you. That's hard to say, but it can be true. Remember those habits that Dale Carnegie shared many years ago about making people like you?
- Be genuinely interested in other people
- Remember names
- Listen, encouraging others to talk about themselves
- Focus on their interests
- Make them sincerely feel important
Mindshare is the goal, with donors favorably and regularly thinking about you and the shared vision you have articulated. Without mindshare you become more irrelevant when it comes to decisions regarding donations.
Disengaged with the Results
Donors today are highly motivated by the results that can be achieved, or in their terms: the return on investment (ROI). Part of the consultative role you have with donors is helping them see how their donation/investment has made a difference in the lives of your students and teachers. They need "sticky" stories they can share with their network, helping them be proud of their association with you and the school.