To the Point: Be Generous to Inspire Generosity
2. Give thanks. Spend a lot more time thanking donors and reporting on their impact than asking them for more money. Make them feel treasured rather than going after their treasures. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The No. 1 reason donors quit supporting an organization is how they were treated by the organization. They hate too many appeals, not enough thanks and a lack of information on impact.
3. Give credit. It's not enough to be grateful. Give your donors the credit for everything you do. Don't say, "With your donation, we did xyz;" say, "You did xyz." Don't say, "We're so great;" say, "You're so great." Tell your donors they are doing good works every day of the week through their support of you. This turns donors into owners of your mission, and you can't get more powerful than that.
So back to the Ukrainian waiter. He was looking at the customer as someone who was costing the hotel money and therefore should be squeezed for every dime. We tend to look at donors in a similar way. We think donors are people from whom to extract value. That is wrong. We should instead show them value, over and over, and the money will follow. Have you heard the expression you should do what you love and the money will follow? In this case, you should give love (and appreciation), and the money will follow.
And in that spirit of generosity, thank you. Your work this year made the world a better place, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to praise you for it. Would you like a double espresso? You sure deserve it.
Katya Andresen ?is chief operating officer at Network for Good. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org