Donors as your BFF


On my morning walk, I found myself thinking about yesterday’s blog post about lapsed donors and thinking about it in the context of my BFF from junior high school.

My friend, Pete, and I met in the sixth grade and immediately became BFFs. We grew up together. We stood up at each other’s weddings.  We were great friends until I had a falling out with his wife shortly after I came out of the closet. We haven’t spoken in about 10 years. As I reflected on my personal situation, it dawned on me that there might be some lessons to draw from with regards to dealing with lapsed donors. If I were to attempt to reclaim this damaged relationship, I might consider any of the following strategies:

  • sending a card or letter to break the ice
  • making a phone call
  • inviting him out for a cup of coffee
  • finding a mutual friend to bring us together

Once the ice is broken, then we probably have lots and lots to catch-up on. Wouldn’t these strategies also work with lapsed donors?

I see many of my non-profit friends struggling with donor retention, and I just don’t think it needs to be that difficult. If we just treated many of our donors the same way we treat our BFFs, then we’d live in a donor-centered universe with donor loyalty rates much higher than 50%.

Any thoughts on what treating a donor as your BFF might looking like? Please weigh-in and share!

Here is to your health! ~Erik

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About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on May 24, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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