Q: A recent article, “Two-Thirds of Donors Plan to Cut Back on Giving This Fall,” appeared in The Chronicle of Philanthropy. If such is the case, what can charities do to be proactive?
A: Continue to subscribe to the KISS principle. The media, especially 24/7 TV and talk radio, has many smart, educated and normally happy people running around like Chicken Little believing “The sky is falling.” Is saying it's so making it happen? Are we wishing ourselves more doom and gloom than necessary?
OK, what does all this have to do with keeping donors on the books and happy, and perhaps even increasing their year-end contributions? Here are three KISS ideas:
1) Say “thank you,”
2) Say “thank you” again and,
3) Say “thank you” one more time.
Do this three times before the end of the year. And with each “thank you,” whether by phone, handwritten note or e-mail, give one compelling story of how the donor’s contribution has impacted a life or issue to make the world a better place. Make it personal and tell a story. Remember words from the heart go to the heart.
Stay connected to the heartbeat of your donor with a sincere “thank you” and a genuine story.
I welcome thoughtful responses and additional questions from readers. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.