Hoots will tell you that I’m not always a consistent rule-follower. Nothing serious, but I don’t always follow every rule–I’m less a letter-of-the-law kind of guy and more intentions-and-convenience kind of guy. She has a pretty funny riff that describes our different wiring, but let’s just say, a “keep off the grass” sign isn’t always enough to keep me from stepping off the sidewalk if I’m in a hurry. I know, it’s a character defect, but I’m working on it.
We saw this sign somewhere in Montana… Let’s just say that I had no trouble staying on the sidewalk. Just tell me why. And what might happen if I don’t…
Your donors are the same way. They are probably better rule-followers than I am but they still need to know “why” and they must know what might happen if they don’t.
It’s easy to forget to explain why you need their help.
It’s easy to forget to explain why you go about doing what you do.
One of the worst things you can do is forget to say what might happen if the donor doesn’t help. It’s not about guilt or blame or manipulation it’s about saying: “here’s the bad thing that could happen if we don’t have your support.”
I’m not saying manipulate or coerce, but if you are changing the world, changing lives, feeding people, saving children, liberating slaves…there should be a consequence if you can’t do your work.
Your donors want to know. Your donors deserve to know.
What about you? How important is it for your donors to know about what might happen if you don’t do your work? How do you go about it saying that? Tell me what you’re thinking.