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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dear Charity: I'm So Over You.

Dear Charity,
I could beat around the bush on this, but I probably should just get to the point.

I'm breaking up with you.

I could say, "It's me, not you," but let's be honest. This is about you.

You were really nice in the beginning. I gave you a modest donation and I got a great and prompt thank you note. I thought, "Wow, good manners." There were other charities that weren't so quick to respond...I only gave to them once.

Then, you were really good about communicating with me. You sent me emails, newsletters, and invitations to parties. You even checked in with me personally every now and then. Even when I didn't respond to everything, you kept in touch. I liked that I could learn more about you and what you were doing. I felt like I knew you.

After a while, I thought, you know, I'm ready for a more steady commitment with this charity. I don't make these decisions lightly, but I thought you were a keeper. So I increased my giving to join your ongoing monthly giving program.

At first, you showered attention on me. You thanked me for increasing my commitment. You gushed about how valuable I was. You even gave me a little gift for joining the club.

And then, after about a year, the attention stopped.

I didn't get any letters or special communication. You didn't personally call on me. It was like I didn't exist. Oh sure, you charged my credit card every month, but I didn't hear from you like I did before.

I invested all this time and resources in you. I demonstrated that I cared. And I got pushed aside for the newer donor.

It's hard feeling washed up in our relationship so soon.

So in spite of the fact that I really still care about what you do and how you change the world, I simply can't be in this relationship anymore. It's too hard for me to give so much and get back so little.

I'm sure you'll find others like me who are willing to support you. But please, don't let my relationship with you be in vain. Spend a little more time with them. Make sure they know that they are appreciated and wanted. Always deliver what you promise. Make them feel valued. Don't push them away like you pushed me away.

You'll always have a special place in my philanthropic journey, but it's better for both of us if I move on.

Good luck,
Your Former Donor

****
PS: Have you talked to a long-time or monthly donor recently? If not, do it NOW.

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