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Donor Relationships: We've Fallen Out of Love

August 8, 2016


So your donors are a bit disenchanted.  You are hearing through the grapevine that they are questioning some recent board decisions, or programmatic changes, and donations are slowing down a bit.  Guess what?  Every relationship goes through changes so part of this is a natural ebb and flow in human nature.  But there is a very real concern here that needs to be addressed.  It’s engagement.  Or lack of engagement.  


So how to engage?  Your donors and sponsors support you because they share a passion for the work you and your nonprofit are doing.  There is no better way to remind them of the daily work being done at your organization than to invite your donors to come and see it firsthand.  You or someone who has a relationship with the donor could spend some time with them at your site talking them through how things are going, describing current challenges and successes and answering any questions.  Typically our donors are people just like us who have decided that they want to support a worthy cause.  They might be shy, or want to blend in and watch from the sidelines, so it might feel awkward to them to show up at your center to observe.  Having someone from your team take them under their wing and show them around, talk about what has been done with recent funding etc, might be just the personal touch they need to feel reconnected and re-engaged.  

Another idea is to host an intimate gathering of donors and supporters at the home of a volunteer or board member.  It’s a great opportunity to thank donors, first and foremost for their support, but also to fill them in on new programs coming on line or how fundraising is going.  It keeps those donors connected and ‘in the know’ about your charity.  This means that not only are they feeling more nurtured, but as the voices of your nonprofit, they are going out and sharing your message with the public.  You may also find that these smaller groups of individuals can build a sense of community or may even form the basis of future committees.  

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