What do I mean by Bless and Release?
It’s what you do with an incommunicative, unresponsive donor: You just let go and release them from your attention.
Take this situation for example:
Here you are, trying so hard to reach out and visit a donor. And you just simply can’t get in the door.
The donor simply ignores your requests, or stonewalls. Or there may be a gatekeeper who simply will not unlock the door.
Or, what about this:
Your donor, who seemed very interested earlier, starts giving you the cold shoulder, and never, ever responds. It’s like crickets from their end.
You wonder “what did I do wrong? Did I offend the donor? Even, do I have bad breath?” ?
When situations like this happen – and they WILL HAPPEN – what can you do?
Do you keep beating your head against the brick wall?
Do you let yourself feel defeated? Demoralized?
No – you Bless and Release this lovely donor.
I know – it can be so terribly frustrating, because you know this particular donor prospect is a Perfect Fit:
They have shown interest before. Maybe their family has a tradition of supporting these causes. Perhaps their kid has been engaged for a long time.
You even know for a fact they have major resources – and they are a philanthropic family.
But alas, they simply are not willing to respond.
Ooooooh, it just kills all of us fundraisers.
But here’s what you do: you Bless and Release them.
It’s perfectly OK to simply decide to let them go.
Why not take your lovely energy and go devote yourself to donors who really do care, who really do want to engage.
Maybe you should choose to spend time on people who even appear to enjoy the contact with you and your organization.
You owe it to yourself to protect your good energy from situations can be so terribly demoralizing. There’s no need to go around feeling defeated.
Take my words for it – Fish Where the Fish Are.
Your cause is important. There are plenty of True Believers out there for your cause.
Don’t worry about the people who are not interested!
Go seek donors who are actually “qualified.”
That is, they have demonstrated interest and capacity to give. And, they actually want to be engaged.
Remember, not everyone on your major prospect list or wealth screening report wants personal contact. Some people say that only one in three donors wants to engage with you.
So, consider the law of averages. Don’t take it personally.
If a donor is rude, incommunicative, or unpleasant to deal with – you can BLESS AND RELEASE THEM.
There are so many more fish in the sea.
Nice fish/donors, who think you are a nice person. Wealthy fish/donors, who are kind, gracious and wonderful to be with. Who are really, really interested.
Spend your time in that sea, with those types of people.
That’s where the fun is in fundraising – engaging with lovely, wonderful, big hearted donors who are dying to make a difference.
That’s when it’s worth getting up in the morning to promote your cause. These gracious donors often make it a fabulous experience to be a fundraiser.
Build a strong relationship with these nice people.
The world of philanthropy is full of the nicest, most interesting, and gracious people. Why not choose to devote yourself to them??
Note about “bless and release” – credit is due to the Benevon team for originally coming up with this concept – and I just LOVE it!