BREAKING NEWS: Not Everybody Likes You

dontlike youSorry to say – it’s true!

So pull up a chair, pour yourself a coffee and let’s talk about it.

It doesn’t matter how great a job you do fulfilling your mission or what chaos would ensue if you closed your doors; there are people who just don’t care about you. There, I’ve said it, how does that make you feel?

If you spend your energy trying to convince people who don’t care about your cause to get on board you’re going to get really tired.

One day, a couple who had never supported the organization I was working for, walked into my office and said, “We would like to donate $10,000 and designate it to one of your children’s programs.” To be honest, my brain was reeling to find a way to connect their money with our organization. Hard as I thought, we worked with only adults and I finally told them so.

I didn’t stop there, I googled organizations that worked with children and recommended three that I personally knew did great work in their area of interest. I wrote down the contact information for each of the organizations on a piece of paper and handed it to them. They thanked me and left.

When you try to convince people who don’t care about your cause…

  • you run the risk of mission drift; trying to bend what you do to fit what they want to support
  • your message becomes diluted and wishy-washy
  • you contribute to overall donor fatigue

When you focus on people who care about your cause…

  • you and all your stakeholders know who you are and what you do
  • you have a clear, concise message with a strong call to action
  • you have more time to actually fulfil your mission.

In the bigger picture, it doesn’t really matter where someone gives as long as they’re giving somewhere. There are many worthy causes out there, why not be the agent who connects a donor to the cause that resonates with their heart?

The couple mentioned in the story above came back the following year to make a one-time $10,000 donation. Why, you ask? Because they were grateful for the heart-connection we had helped them make the previous year.


Why is it important to, and how can you connect people with their passion when they don’t connect with your organization?

What things can you do today to engage people who already care about your cause and your organization?

The purpose of The Other Bottom Line is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.



  1. bulldog

    One thing I’ve learnt whilst cold calling for our software sales is not to waste time on flogging a dead horse… accept the fact people don’t want it and move on, spend more time with those that are, i.e. if they don’t like it don’t try to convince them to like it, move on…

  2. Kerwyn Hodge

    In answer to your first question above, it’s important to help people connect with their passion because ultimately we are (or should) be in the people business. That means we care about all people, not just those affected by the work we do. Helping people connect with their passion creates goodwill, and it can come back to bless us in ways we can’t possibly foresee, even as your example above proves.

    The answer to the second question, at least for me, is to get out in the field and visit people (which I’ll do as soon as I finish this post). 😉

    • theotherbottomline

      Hi Kerwyn, I agree and would have done the same thing even if they didn’t make a donation the following year! Enjoy your visits today, I’m sure you are a blessing to those in your community!


  3. Jean

    One of the obvious ways for those who care about your organization’s mission, is if they could offer an endorsement for the good work/services, write a blog post or just comment.

    Have you ever embedded a daddypoll into your blog here to engage readers? Or try a fun “contest” that get’s people thinking / brainstorming online?

    By the way, your blog title has strange resonance for me.. to my pleasant surprise, I was recently nominated as an employee, for an excellent customer service award…which I am so certain I will not be a winner (because the scale of project wasn’t that massive across the organization. There was some bang for saving bucks…which I actually never considered. I just….did my job.) But already I’m worried that the award will backfire on causing some envy among some team members. My partner said to me: “So what? Just accept the compliment for what you honestly did.”

    Tell me how to deal with such nutso feelings?

    • theotherbottomline

      Congratulations on your nomination Jean! I think your partner is absolutely right – accept the compliment for what you honestly did! If there are those who are envious, there is nothing you or anyone can do it about it, right? Congratulations again!

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