7 Tips on how to push your donors away

I like when you tell me you value me. I like it even more when you show me.

I turned toward her smiling face...

I turned toward her smiling face…

Yesterday I picked up some supplies at the local grocery store. I’d forgotten my reading glasses, so when I grabbed the cream out of the fridge, I asked an employee if she would please tell me what the expiry date was.

“It’s August 18th,” she said. “Great. Thank you,” I replied.

As I turned to leave, she added, “Would you like one with a later date?”

It stopped me in my tracks and I turned toward her smiling face and she replaced my cream with one dated the 21st.

She did this in spite of the fact that it makes more sense for this grocery chain to sell the earliest dated products first.

What great customer service!

Her gesture, combined with the other good experiences I have had at this grocery store make me feel like a valued customer. Feeling valued solidifies my loyalty.

Customer service principles also apply to your relationships with your donors

Here are some simple tips you can use to push your donors away:

  • Do all the talking.
  • Explain why they are wrong.
  • Don’t say thank you.
  • Answer their complaints by blaming them.
  • Tell them how great you are.
  • Make it difficult for them to help you.
  • Spew out jargon and industry terms ad nauseam.

On the other hand, if you would like to continue receiving donations, here are some simple tips you can use to show your donors you value them:

  • When you haven’t seen them for some time. Call them. Invite them for coffee.
  • When they share their story with you. Listen.
  • When you read an article that relates to their interests, send it to them.
  • When they complain about the way they’ve been treated. Solve the problem.
  • When they donate to you. Say thank you and tell them how their donation will help.
  • When they celebrate a milestone or suffer a loss. Send them a hand-written note.
  • When they want to help you with their expertise. Make it easy for them to do so.

Telling your donors you value them is a good thing to do. Showing them that you value them is even better.

What are some of the simple ways that you show your donors you value them?

The purpose of this blog 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. cyclingrandma

    Excellent points. This is such a valuable service you’re doing, Diana. My big issue with the one board I’m on is that people (including me) want to be of assistance beyond fund-raising events and most non-profits have trouble finding ways to engage volunteers — even envelopes don’t need stuffing anymore! And I’m thinking of how to provide meaningful work for intelligent people who want to make a difference. Then there’s the added problem of creating more work for the staff bc they have to manage the volunteers. Any insights? email me.

  2. David Konkin

    Great advice and to be honest it’s really all about the relationship building and maintenance in all our lives I think. People like to be encouraged and felt needed and of value.
    Thanks again.

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