Mending a Broken Relationship

By Charlie Hulme
On August 12, 2013 At 2:00 pm

Category : individuals, Latest posts, loyalty, retention, strategy

Responses : 10 Comments

It’s tragically ironic that ‘Relationship Fundraising’ comes of age in a year when donor retention is at an all time low. When Ken Burnett published his book 21 years ago his definition read:

“Relationship fundraising is an approach to the marketing of a cause that centers on the unique and special relationship between a nonprofit and each supporter. Its overriding consideration is to care for and develop that bond and to do nothing that might damage or jeopardize it. Every activity is therefore geared towards making sure donors know they are important, valued and considered, which has the effect of maximizing funds per donor in the long term.”

Anyone disagree? Of course not, but read the definition again turning each statement into a question (i.e. ‘does our approach centre on a unique relationship with each supporter?’) Does that sound like our sector to you? Does it sound like your organization?

If it doesn’t, what does that say about our attitude towards donors?

Does the way we treat them carry over into our personal lives? Take list renting. stalkerHow successful would my marriage be if I sold my wife’s contact details to other guys with a ‘propensity’ for taking her out? Or how about the way we harass people who several years ago returned a pound pack? If I did the same with an ex-girlfriend I’d be arrested for stalking!

How long would you stay in a relationship with someone who continually asked for money despite what you’ve told them, and never said thank you when you did help?

Of course we need to ask. But we need to be asking properly. So how do we do that?

The same way you try to mend a broken relationship with someone you love. Wouldn’t you spend some time listening to them; finding out what they cared about, and trying to give it to them? So how about learning what’s important to your donors and tailoring your communications around that? Charities that do this are seeing lifetime value increase by 131%!

Or try breaking the monotonous cycle of asks by once in a while thanking and updating donors on what they’ve achieved. Charities that do this reduce attrition by one third and see a huge lift in response to future asks.

What virtue is there in calling ourselves ‘relationship fundraisers’ if we never put the principles into practise?  

It’s not too late to change. Before you churn out yet another appeal on auto-blag ask yourself these questions:

  • Could this activity damage or jeopardize our relationship with this supporter?
  • Does this activity make sure our donor knows they are important, valued and considered?
  • How will this maximize funds long term?

How many lives could we have saved over the last 21 years if we’d actually done this?

“…there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.”  William James

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Charlie Hulme (30 blogs on 101fundraising)

Charlie is MD of Donor Voice. He helps charities uncover what, of all the things they do, cause relationship strength and what is harmful. Partners see a massive improvement in performance, value and retention. Voted top speaker at the Institute of Fundraising's National Convention in 2013, he writes frequently for SOFII, 101 Fundraising, the Institute of Fundraising and many others.

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  1. Pingback: Fundraisingwoche vom 12.08.-18.08.2013 | - wir lieben Fundraising

  2. I AM PRINCESS FRM UKRAIN.What can i say in this life again,how will i thank HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON for the good job which he just did for me.i have been searching for long a real spell caster now for me to get who to help me get back my husband back but i have been scammed with a lot of people who claim they are spell casters,so i was tired of searching then one morning just have to go to the net and just look for once again and i found this man HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON and i contacted him and he make a prayer to me through phone in the night and after the prayer he tells me what to do and i did it and immediately the thing was done he gave me assurance that my husband will start looking for me and pleading for me to accept him back and i was kind of not sure and what make me amaze he said just 2days after this that is when he will come and as i am talking to you people now my husband came back to me just yesterday which make it complete 2days as he said and now i am very happy. HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON IS REAL!!!! you can contact HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON through this email,

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  3. Am jessica, and i will like to testify on behalf of a man i hold so much respect and trust for, a man that has come to this world to redeem the world, he is one man that is true to what he does and he is the realest of all spell casters. That man is the World Greatest LORD MUTALENTO. He was the one that helped me when i thought all hope is gone and my world was finished. He help me rebuild a strong and happy relationship that was long lost and also gave me a new meaning of life. i’m indeed to grateful to this man for his wonders and his simple life style. worry no more and contact LORD MUTALENTO, The world Greatest for any problem you want to be treated or solved one time. contact him on you will be glad you did. I LOVE YOU WORLD GREATEST AND THANKS FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR ME AND MY FAMILY..

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  4. My name is Natasha michael, a citizen of US and resides in United Kingdom.I am here to tell everyone about a man, i met through the help of my uncle and this man have helped me when i thought no one can. He has shown me that there are indeed real spell casters who are true to their words. I want to sincerely thank one man i hold in high esteem for his wonderful works and sincerity and for reviving my lost relationship and making my life a healthy one. This man that has done all this for me is the World Greatest, high priest ozigididon. please friends out there look no further for those scam spell casters out there the real one whom i have TESTED AND I TRUST is high priest ozigididon and he can be contacted on I cross my heart, a trial will convince you about him and you will know i am not just exaggerating.

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  5. Am Dr Ray Brooke from TX, i want to briefly comment on a spell caster i met on here and has helped me tremendously to achieve my aim and bring back my ex wife Cynthia. i have no much word to say but to say a big thank you to Lord Zilialia. he is wonderful. You can meet him on Even Doctors’ do cry! contact him and appreciate me later.

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  6. My Name is Anita Aaron I live in USA, I married to my husband for 10 years and we were both bless with three Kids living together as one love, until 2013 when things was no longer the way it was 6 months after, he stated sleeping outside our matrimonial home. Only for me to find out that he was having an affair with the lady that gave he job. since that day, when i called him, he don’t longer pick up my calls and he nothing since to come out good. Yet my husbands just still keep on seeing the lady. Until I met a very good friend of my who was also having a similar problem, who introduced me to a very good love spell caster. But i told her that if it has to do with things that i am not interested, but she said that it has nothing to do with pay first. but the only thing he was ask to do was just to go and buy the items to cast the spell, and that was what she did. And she gave me the spell caster e-mail address and phone number. When i contacted him, i was so surprise when he said that if i have the faith that i will get my husband back in the next three [3] day, and off which it was really so. but i was so shock that i did not pay any thing to Dr EGUGA
    but my husband was on his knells begging me and the children for forgiveness. This testimony is just the price i have to pay. This DR EGUGA is good and he is the author of my happiness. His e-mail address: EGUGASPELLHELP@GMAIL.COM

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  7. An amazing testimony on a spell caster who brought my wife back to me.. My name is Mack David , i live in USA,and I’m happily married to a lovely and caring wife, with a kid. A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife. so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce. she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she didn’t love me anymore. So she packed out of my house and made me and my child passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail. and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife. So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too. So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited, and i decided to contact the man, after a brief explanation to this man, he asked me for some info about my self and my wife which i immediately told him and he assured me that before 2 days my wife shall come back to me begging, it was like a dream to me when my wife actually came back after 2 days begging and crying for forgiveness, right now we are happy again and my family is good again, i thank this great man Dr VOVO for his help, you can contact him on this email if you have similar problem, Email:VOVOLOVESPELL@GMAIL.COM

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