I approached a nonprofit membership organization about honoring a friend. To thank the friend, I wanted to give a donation in her honor. When the CEO learned that I was a visitor, instead of exploring how to help me reach my goal, she began to sell me a membership. She listed on and on membership benefits-tossing my goal aside.
It was like having a persistent gnat in your face that you can’t catch while you’re trying to get something done.
I left feeling unheard, less inclined to join, and wondering if my idea was worth pursuing.
Here the take-away:
My request was simple. I even suggested how to do it. Add the following to one of their many newsletters: “Kudos to Sally Jane for providing a great referral to one of our guests. A donation was made in her name to help this organization meet its operating expenses. Way to go Sally! We appreciate you.” *
Instead, I bought a gift certificate from a national chain…. I might have been a new donor.
Listen to people who want to give you money.
When do you say “no” when you might say “yes”?
* What’s even more fascinating is that my query represented a new revenue stream-surely I’m not the only one who would like to thank a member, recognize a birthday, or otherwise celebrate, and help the organization.
For more answers, check out this Nonprofit CEO Library.
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