3 Reasons Why Chasing Donations is a Bad Idea

Image: iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you ever been tempted to accept a donation that didn’t quite align with your organization’s mission or values? Maybe you’ve found yourself bending over backwards to please a donor whose interest in your cause was iffy from the start. 

Read on for 3 reasons why you should NOT do whatever it takes to get a donation.

#1 You can’t please everyone. 

Poet John Lydgate, and later Abraham Lincoln, said it best – “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” 

Accept this truth for donors, too. When you spend too much time courting or stewarding a high-maintenance donor whose interests don’t align with your mission, you are stealing time from more productive, strategic activities. The cost to maintain this relationship will almost surely outweigh the benefits. 

#2 Mission drift is dangerous. 

Your organization’s mission is its raison d’etre. Your north star. Your number one priority every day of the year. Losing focus and chasing donations that come with strings attached or don’t fit with your priorities can be lethal for your organization. 

For other toxic activities to avoid, check out the Nonprofit Quarterly’s sage advice in their article, “10 Ways to Kill Your Nonprofit.”

#3 Make sure you know what being donor-centered really means.

Being donor-centric doesn’t mean giving donors whatever they want whenever they want it!

Being donor-centric means seeing your organization and its messages from your donor’s point of view. It means expressing your gratitude for your donors – and how their gifts and their support are making your work possible. It’s about understanding how your communications and interactions are received by a donor. 

Donor-centered fundraising can go a long way when you understand what it means… and what it doesn’t.

What are your thoughts on accepting donations – any and all donations – from donors? Please share in the Comments box below.

Special gift for you: Conquer Your Fear of Asking for Money, a step-by-step guide, is available here (click).