Election is Over – Time to Move On

By James A. Donovan • November 15th, 2016

Well, it’s over. But the speculation about changes in charitable giving tax deductions has just begun. There is no shortage of articles or commentary in the Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Philanthropy and business magazines. However, it remains to be seen what President-Elect Trump will propose.

If there was ever a time to remind donors and prospective donors about the value of their gift and how it makes a difference in the lives of people, pets and the planet, it’s now. The emphasis must be making a difference, not tax deductibility.

Here are three suggestions for making your case – post election.

First, remind your constituency of how their gift saved a life, cured a pet or saved a lake. Having interviewed thousands of donors in studies we have done over the years, they tell us they want to make a difference and are thrilled when they learn their gift did.

Second, use emotional high impact photos in your communications that show a child, pet or polluted lake before they made their gift and then a picture of the after effect.

Third, drop names. One of the main tenets of fundraising is that people give money to people not causes. Now that may seem to contradict my other two suggestions above. Not really. In each community there are a dozen high powered people who make things happen. If any of these are donors to your organization, get their permission to use their name and showcase them. This inspires others to give. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “Oh, Charlie Jones? He owns…and is very successful and he is a donor to….? Well that’s good enough for me.”

As 2017 approaches, I hope you will consider one more suggestion for increasing your effectiveness in fundraising. Pick up the phone more often and text less often. Talk to donors and prospects on the phone and especially face to face. Nothing works better. And, let go of the election results, move on.

All the Best for Continued $ucce$$


By Mary Harowski on November 16th, 2016 at 11:01 am


Great blog! Great advice! Hope all well with you, Janet and family.

Good to hear from you and as always your words are right on target and a good reminder!


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