I don’t know what the cause is, but many of us are finding people area taking a lot longer to make a decision.

And more than that, they’re not responding to any of our follow up.

This is hard in fundraising, isn’t it? Most nonprofits aren’t asking for next year’s budget. They need the money now.

While I’m in favor of thoughtful philanthropy, nonprofits tend to need an answer. To know if they should keep following up or if they should move on. The conversation should be a dialogue. A back and forth.

Your Role is NOT to Decide for Your Donor

Whatever the cause, one thing I do know: don’t make the decision for the donor.

Resist the urge to take their silence as a decision. The donor hasn’t said “no” until the donor has said “no.”

As hard as it can be to do, keep consistent and kind with your follow up. If the donor didn’t say yes or no to the ask, they must be thinking about the donation.

Honor them enough to let them tell you their decision.

A while back, inspired by the book Go For No!, I wrote a post called “Sometimes you need to go for no.” You might be surprised to find you like the experience of making a game of getting no’s.

So hang in there. Silence is just silence. Not a no.

If you need follow up reminders, feel free to sign up for my Follow Up Friday emails. While not specifically written to fundraisers, you’ll see how applicable the follow up ideas are for your work.

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