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Two Roads

In the words of American poet laureate Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Individuals who make financial investments to your organization take one of two, very different paths.

But not both.

The one they choose will have a fundamental and lasting impact upon your fundraising results and your critical mission.

When we seek investors to our cause too often, we see them as consumers.

Even if we’re asking these generous individuals for a direct gift, we often want them to buy our stuff.

Potential investors become consumers. As consumers they come, and they go.  They’re on to the next product. 

I see this pattern writ-large in the low—and getting lower—donor retention rates so prevalent these days.

Mean donor retention in the nonprofit world is already LESS THAN HALF the customer retention rate in the consumer products market.

Just how low does it need to be before nonprofit leaders take notice?

And while there may be an abundance of financial resource for philanthropy, there is NOT an unlimited supply of prospective investors to your cause.

On the other hand, when we seek to build an authentic bi-lateral relationship with our investors we create added value not only for us but also for them.

In ongoing relationship, we engage our donor investors in a way that adds value to their lives through the fulfillment of their goals and values AND adds value to our organization by building capacity—real, mission-critical capacity.

As our fundraising capacity grows, we not only raise more revenue each and every year, but we also build even greater capacity.  One enhances the other.

Each success nets another with an added kicker.

With consumption, however, it’s over and done.  Once only.

Principle 1 of The Eight Principles™ is Donors are the Drivers™.  When reaching out to donors, think relationships, think capacity.

It’s here this year and again in the next—with a multiplier.