Start by giving thanks.
November 19, 2018
Gail Bower in Better Business Bureau, Experience, Gail Bower, Leadership, Marketing, Nonprofit Hero, Val Jones, thanking donors
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A couple weeks ago my friend, colleague, and writing buddy Val Jones, hosted a fun event to celebrate publishing her first book, Nonprofit Hero, which teaches board members how to be successful fundraisers. 

Do you know why people stop giving?

She quizzed us on a few startling statistics. 
Here’s one for you. The top three reasons, cited by 39% of respondents, about why donors stop giving are:
(You can read about the other reasons on page 22 of her book.)


No surprise, Val teaches organizations to start by thanking. (Check out her book to learn her other 4 steps. Can you tell I really want you to pick up a copy of her book? And to be clear, I have no financial interest.)

I’d like to point out the obvious: these three reasons are all within your control.

The day before Val’s book launch, I read another set of statistics from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) about giving and the public’s trust of nonprofit organizations. It’s grim. 
While 73% of respondents say it’s very important to trust a nonprofit before giving, only 19% say they actually do highly trust nonprofits.
The BBB study respondents said that the most important information they wish was available when thinking about donating to a charity, which is also the “ONE thing” [sic] the respondent most wanted to help decide is knowing where the money goes.
Again, totally within your control.
I’m wondering about the correlation between thanking and trusting. Or rather not being thanked and not trusting. Yes, information is important, but we know that people spend money for emotional reasons, and they justify with intellect.

Let the giving begin.

While you’re eating turkey and pumpkin pie, think about thanks. 
If your donors’ email and snail mail boxes are anything like mine, they are already bombarded with appeals. 
Next Tuesday is #GivingTuesday, when thousands of nonprofits compete for donations.
Do you have your thanking plans ready? Do you have the messages ready to inform donors how their gift will be invested?


This week, work with your team to review your messaging and strategy to make sure you provide your most important supporters with what they want most. Take this extra step so they feel good about their experience with you.


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