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Can you name the two deadly sins that kill donor interest?

There are two Deadly Sins that can completely derail relationships with donors: assuming and guessing.
When we assume and guess with regards to a donor’s interest in a charitable project, we almost always get the wrong answer. And that wrong answer can lead to a broken relationship if you’re not careful.
Here’s an example. Your organization has a major campaign underway, and you open to the paper and read that John Smith just made a significant contribution to another charitable endeavor in town. There are two possible, legitimate assumptions you might make after reading this fact.
  • He gave to their project, so he would never give to us
  • He gave them $1 million, so he’ll also donate that much to us

Both assumptions are dangerous in their own way. In the first, you might give up talking to John completely. In the second, you assume that you’ll receive a similar amount, and you haven’t even talked with him yet! It’s important that we not proceed based on the cleverest of our manufactured answers to their questions. Just ask!

Asking is the substitute, the antidote, for the deadly sins of assuming and guessing. Don’t answer for your donors or prospects. Ask them questions and then listen carefully to their answers. You’ll find that everyone involved is a lot happier, even if that donor doesn’t end up contributing to your mission.

Your friend,
P.S. Feel free to share this with someone who could benefit from the antidote to these deadly sins!
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