Nothing but the Truth
Friends don’t lie to each other. True friends don’t shade the truth.
But in our communications to donors, are we really willing to lay it on the line?
- “We need $12,000 by March 15th.”
Couldn’t admit that?
Why not? It’s the truth.
Say what you need. Say why. Say what will happen next.
We can’t hold out on someone and then expect them to act like a friend.
We’ve often witnessed this scenario: A ministry leader refuses to tell his donors the truth about the ministry’s need; then he or she gets to the point of having no choice, and the donors say,
“Why didn’t you tell us sooner!
We would have helped you avoid this situation!”
Of course, by the same token, you can only cry wolf when the wolf is at the door — not before — or you’ll trash your donor friendships.
Truthfulness has a marvelous way of smoothing otherwise troubled waters. For example:
- If you have to lean hard on your donors, acknowledge that you’re leaning hard. “I know I’ve asked you to help me with this just as recently as three weeks ago, but…” This is truthful. It acknowledges that you have a need, but it acknowledges how the donor might feel about being asked.
- It is deadly to over-apologize — but essential to acknowledge an unusual situation. You realize that donors are friends, not matchsticks to be struck, used, and tossed smoking into the trash. Think about how they’ll feel when they read your letter — then accommodate those feelings as you talk to them.
Jesus did not restrict His truth-telling to the fun stuff. He expressed the hard truth along with the easy. So should we.