The disappearing donor.
There I was. In my kitchen, minding my own business.
And the envelope appeared.
Oh, I’d seen its like before. Always brought me heartache.
So if I knew what was good for me, I would have put that newsletter down and walked away.
Guess I was looking for trouble.
And there it was.
See, my job is to help organizations love their donors better.
Sometimes, it’s easy. A good organization loses its way. I can put them back on the straight and narrow.
But this one was a hard case. No love.
But what’s worse… no donor.
Oh, it was dressed up to please. Bright colors. Big font. But it left me with a mystery to solve.
What happened to the donor?
Every headline spoke to busy-ness. We’ve been doing this. Or that.
The rest of the time, it was all about need.
But that need only deepened the mystery.
If they need help, what did they do with the donor?
It might be a case of a good relationship gone bad. Could be they started thinking donors would stick around. Or maybe the organization even got abusive. People can be pretty rough on donors these days.
But my guess: carelessness.
Why? Because even good organizations can get lazy, take donors for granted.
And for a while, they even get away with it. Donors are a forgiving lot.
But here’s the truth: it always comes back to bite them.
At some point, those donors wise up.
They leave for a better organization.
Some other organization shows them a little respect. A flash of appreciation.
And the careless organization is left lonely, broke, and crying for help.
Sometimes, that’s when they call me.
I can investigate. I can teach them how to protect themselves the next time.
But sometimes, it’s too late.
Carelessness like that can kill an organization.
I read the newsletter one more time, hoping to find a clue or two.
Then I sadly folded it up and put it away.