Your donors may stop supporting you soon if…

Ever had an inkling about a relationship about to break off just before it actually did? There are always some small behavioral changes that give you a hint of things to come. Its no different for donors of a non-profit organization. Their behavior may also give away the fact they want to, or are in the process of ‘breaking free’ of your organization.

In today’s #TuesdayTips, let us talk about the donor behavior patterns that you must watch out for. Just like breakups, a lot of these are related to the way of communication (and response to communication) of the donor. And there are also a few ways to prevent the actual break up. Here’s a look at the reasons first.


  1. Apathy on social media: This is usually the first sign that you are about to lose a donor. Most involved donors make it a point to post about the organizations they support on social media. Some of the shy ones may not post about you, but they would still like, follow, repost, retweet, etc. You can even see whether they have not opened the mails you send them on some tools. This can be a good indicator of donor apathy as well.
  2. Avoiding meeting/calls: This one follows the first point. After their apathy is visible on social media, it soon gets translated to the real world. Usually observed in the form of not attending your calls, or avoiding an appointment if you ask for one.
  3. Failure to support a regular event: This is where it gets real scary. If there is an annual gala or other regular events where a donor doesn’t show his support, its a cause for concern. Especially, if they actively participated in it in the past.
  4. No talk of future: Just like in a relationship, this is the most deadbeat sign of what’s coming your way. If they avoid or don’t talk about supporting a future project, or stop inquiring about upcoming events, they are about to leave your threshold.
  5. Open support for another organization: This one is akin to declaring the breakup over social media. When a donor publicly supports another (rival, maybe) organization, its all but over.



That really depends on the problem. But here’s a few things that can help address and understand their issues.

  1. Ananlyze and introspect: First thing to do if you notice any of the above warning signs is to introspect. There may have been some recent changes in your organization in terms of leadership, vision or other things that donors may not agree with. There are also chances of negative things about your organization being said, heard or reported. The first thing to do is to analyze whether there is some problem that can resolve at your own level.
  2. A heart-to-heart conversation: If you can’t figure out what has caused the donors to drift, its a good idea to have an open discussion with them. It is a good idea to pay a visit to the person in question. Understand what prompted them to support you in the first place, and what disappointed them. Take their feedback on important aspects of the organization and its projects. Assure them that their concerns will be addressed soon and remind them how you have together helped make the world a better place.
  3. Rebrand and reintroduce: In case you find that one of the above reasons is taking your donors away, start working on resolving this. It may include introducing your organization in a whole new light, or branding it differently. In case the reason is change of leadership, this reintroduction needs to be done in person. In other cases, social  media and emails can do the job.
  4. Increase their involvement: Get the donor to the field of work. Involve them directly in the project for a day. Give them a chance to see some progress caused by donations like theirs. Also tell them what is still left to do.



After doing all this, if you want to test whether your efforts worked, try getting them to donate to a crowdfunding campaign for your new project. Crowdera can help do this for free, since its a no-fee platform. This global platform can also help increase your reach, and raise funds from multiple countries and in different currencies.