Editorial Note: This post original appeared on the Hilborn Blog, written by our own Andrew Littlefield.
A sure fire way to spoil a relationship with a major gift donor is to treat them like an ATM. You only come around when you’re going to ask them to dispense some money to keep your program going.
This might work for a few gifts. But before long, the donor is going to figure out that their only value to you and your organization is their cheque book.
Once that happens, they’re likely to start ignoring all your efforts to communicate. Phone calls from your number will go unanswered, emails will go straight to the trash folder, and meetings will be hard to come by.
Most skilled fundraisers know this and avoid it like the plague. They work tirelessly to thank, steward, and foster healthy relationships with their major donors.
Yet when it comes to first-time, small donors, many organizations throw all this common courtesy out the window.