Careful with crises
Ministries must take care not to overdo the “urgent” message.
Donors often imagine that an “urgent” communication suggests a lack of oversight in an organization’s finances. An emergency-style appeal, then, must be carefully explained and justified.
The crisis must make sense to the donor, and the reason for it must be soundly reasoned.
One major negative for donors: the “I’ve already committed, now help me make good on the commitment” approach.
This reads to the donor as “bad business practices.”
What donors are saying…
“…At times, it gets so annoying when you get phone calls about having a need now…. You feel bad. There is that guilt thing about not saying no…. There is this urgency thing, and I get tired of that. I believe they are telling the truth, but — it is always, they have certain things they are trying to accomplish…”
“What is a deterrent is when they call and put me on the spot, or there’s pressure — like a certain amount to give or something like that. Then they kind of get scratched off the list, because I feel that one should give [if] they’re motivated from their heart.”
“‘Special’ needs receive special consideration. But the ‘special’ need must have been caused by an outside force that was beyond the ministry’s control and/or ability to perceive and plan for. A poorly managed ministry is not an excuse to lapse into a financial crisis.”
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