Tax Time, and Your Donors Are Wishing They’d Given You More

Maybe. I’ve been working on my taxes this week, and was noticing, as I scanned the list of donors, that each name elicited a different emotional reaction. They ran the gamut, such as:

  • “Has it really been that long since I gave them anything?”
  • “Grr, I think they used up my whole contribution sending me multi-page, glossy follow-up appeals.”
  • “Why didn’t they list my donation amount in their thank-you letter?”
  • “Who on earth are they?”
  • “Aww, what a nice group.”

Most of those are not reactions you’d want people to have to your group. Rather than me trying to describe what’s behind my various reactions, I encourage you to try the same game as you do your taxes. (Alright, so you’re not such as a latenik as I — as you review your completed return, then.)

Think about what the various groups that you have given to did right — and wrong — and how your own nonprofit can mimic or depart from their model.