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Three reasons why donors stop contributing

With donations serving as the lifeblood of an organization, when a donor stops giving it could be cause to hit the panic alarm.

In her book, “Donor Cultivation and the Donor Lifecycle Map,” Deborah Kaplan Polivy provides three of the most common reasons why a donor might stop giving and hope that those relationships may be mended.

The donor might be more limited financially in the ability to give than in the past for any number of reasons. Through a face-to-face or telephone conversation, an organization and donor can find ways to keep the donor engaged in a different way such as through voluntary activities. Such donors should continue to receive organizational emails and newsletter so that they can remain informed about the organization for when and if their financial situation changes.

Donors might stop giving based off on complaints they have with the organization. In these cases, acknowledge their dissatisfaction, show that you have resolved or are working to resolve the problem and, when appropriate, engage the donor in the process by soliciting advice on how to address the concern. Complaints can benefit organizations by providing insight into donors’ thinking.

The organization’s mission might be a lower priority for the donor than other causes. If this is the case, it is unlikely that the donor can be engaged in a long-term relationship and their position should be respected.

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