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When a donor makes a gift, especially her first gift, she is earnestly “waving a red flag” at your organization.

In other words, she is saying, “I’m here . . . I’m ‘in’ with you . . . I want to partner with you!”  The donor is so convinced of her gift’s impact, she is more motivated to create change than hold onto her money and privacy.  It’s a really big deal, regardless of the size of the gift!

The question is, do we see the red flag?  Do we fully appreciate what the donor is saying and the major step she has taken?

From within our organizations, it’s easy to lapse into the attitude that donors “should” and “ought” to give.  Often we don’t notice the red flag or fully respect the magnitude of the donor’s decision to part with hard-earned dollars and privacy.  What an honor it is to receive an investment of trust!

So how are we responding to and recognizing our donor partnerships?

  • Are we talking to donors as partners – or as ATM machines?
  • Do we see donors as multi-dimensional partners and offer a variety ways to interact – or send impersonal “institutional” thank yous and emails?

Stop for a moment and reflect on your personal experiences as a donor.

What do you want when you make a donation and “wave a red flag?”

What could you tweak or enhance to better recognize and respond to the “red flags” donors are waving at your organization?

Email me at carole@rylanderassociates.com or find more about our services at rylanderassociates.com