Don’t be one of those organizations that talks to me only when you want more money.”

– Paul Bruner, My Dad.

I had taken a CEO job in a business where my responsibilities would include raising money. Though I had already been fundraising for years, my Dad felt the need to admonish me against something he had experienced as a donor: the “thank-you…silence…please-give-more” phenomena.

Many of us have experienced this phenomena. We give a gift, receive a thank you, hear nothing for a long time, and then get asked to give more money.

Asking donors to give again is part of virtually every nonprofit organization’s job. But so is stewarding donors effectively. Asking for another gift should be a natural part of an ongoing conversation, rather than a shot-out-of-the-dark.

After you say thank you, and long before you ask again, what is your stewardship plan? What, how and when are you continuing to thank, inform, report back to, and engage donors in your work?

The good news is, stewardship and cultivation go hand-in-hand. The more you ensure that a donor understands their gift continues to be appreciated, is being well-managed, and is helping accomplish its stated goal, the more cultivated they become – and more likely to give again.

After the thank you, and before the next ask, keep talking to your donors.


Let’s discuss ways your business or organization can be better stewards of your donors.

  • Carlye

    Slam dunkin’ like Shaquille O’Neal, if he wrote informative articles.

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