Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Monday, October 18, 2010

Simple Answer: Boredom and Burnout

I was just checking Twitter, and saw a question from @GailPerrync: "In general, only 1 in 10 donors keep on giving indefinitely. Why?"

Well, I'm sure Gail has her own well-researched reasons why, but the answer that popped right into my head was, "Boredom & burnout; not being shown how their $$ led to progress."

Think of it, year after year, you've been giving a particular nonprofit. And, year after year, their appeal letters have been pretty much the same. The children are still hungry, the water is still filthy, and they're still asking you for another $50. When does it get better?

It's been said a thousand times before, by many more famous nonprofit consultants than myself, but donors prefer to invest in success than to be guilted into giving, yet again.

Do the appeals your organization is sending out make these mistakes? Or are you first explaining what progress you made since your last ask, the results that money led to, and what exactly you'll be doing with the next donation? Did you remember to thank the donor, and let them know how instrumental they are in your continued success?

Or did you just tell them how awful everything has gotten, and expect them to still be paying attention?

Join the conversation over on Twitter - I'm there as NonprofitKenG.

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