Many NGOs read about how to attain donors and more importantly, how to maintain them. There are several tips and tricks into learning how to build good and lasting relationships with donors, but there are still many things left unsaid, such as many relevant information about donors. Here are some useful fact about donors:
- You can negotiate with them
As much as it wouldn’t be good to come off too strong when approaching donors, try not to leave without gaining anything. Typically, big donors are looking for organizations who can pursue their projects in a timely manner. Thus, give them realistic timelines and explain to them why certain projects take time. Many of them will be willing to listen and take your words into consideration. This is better than committing to dates you can’t meet. Not meeting the deadlines your NGO has committed to can potentially ruin the relationship between you and your donors organization. Furthermore, it is also unprofessional. Therefore, only commit to what you can handle and try to negotiate if possible.
- There will always be room inside a donor’s inner circle
Often times, once a particular donor has already maintained good relations with their partners, they no longer offer openings for other NGOs. However, it is important to remember that all NGOs had to start somewhere, and you could too. Although this may come as a challenge, if you have proven your organization to be worthy through the projects you will be rendering, you can also get in their inner circle. The best way to get into a donor’s inner circle of NGOs is by making sure what you are presenting is in line with many of their initiatives as well. Whether it be corporations, philanthropists, or even individuals, donors will welcome you for as long as they see your causes to be worthy – along with the potential your NGO has.
- Rejection is not forever
In applying for funds for NGOs, rejection is something that comes pretty often, especially for new NGOs. Thus, it should be noted that there could be several reasons behind the rejection. The organization you have gotten in contact with may not have sufficient budget at the moment, which means you can still contact them in the future. It could also mean that your proposals are not their priority at the moment, and you can find something that is more mutual between your organizations. Hence, after getting rejected from acquiring funds, it would not be ideal to immediately close doors on future collaborations.
- Donors need assurance
Donors shell out their money for causes and expect nothing back in return. Hence, this doesn’t mean that they are simply giving away money for free. Donors expect great results – and usually would not be donating again should they encounter anything less. After donors have made their donation, there is a constant need to update them for both the positive and negative occurrences. Donors have expectations and should be informed beforehand if there would be delays or circumstances will cause compromises. Being transparent with your donors assures them that you are still committed to the same initiatives you have promised before receiving donations.
The best way to maintain good relations with donors is by knowing their mindset as well. What they’re willing to do, and what they aren’t. In getting to know facts about them, learning how to treat them the proper way will soon follow.