Nonprofits are a business and need to run like a business, but at the same time give donors a sense of closeness and belonging instead of an organization that comes across as being aloof. The most successful nonprofits present themselves in a positive manner seeking donors to join in their success versus displaying an attitude of woe and hopelessness that the struggle faced will never be overcome.
If you’re not making your donors feel needed or wanted then you need to ask yourself why you think they are going to want to pay any attention to what you might have to say? Donors today, more than ever, demand a greater sense of accountability for the funds they donate. Donors are like investors seeking to see a positive return on their investment. Meaning, they want to see you do what you say you are going to do and show your results. Like all investors, however, they realize that there will be times when the organization will have its ups and downs but they are looking for a trend that shows, in the long term, they can stick by you versus bail out.
Do you send your donors an annual report? Is your newsletter full of trite information and simply an excuse to say hello? Do donors have to call you at year end to ask for a receipt for a donation they made months earlier? What positive steps are you taking today to make sure your nonprofit will be a success?
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide legal or accounting advice, or to address specific situations. Please consult with your legal or tax advisor to supplement and verify what you learn here.