Being Trustworthy and Accountable before our Donors

High-capacity donors have a God-given longing to give, but they also have questions that need to be answered before they can be comfortable giving. In dealing with major donors and potential major donors, we need to recognize what they are asking, consciously or not. For example:

Can I trust you to do what you say you’ll do?

It’s unfortunate that many ministry organizations have violated the trust of donors by raising money for a project but then applying a significant portion of the revenues to everyday maintenance, administration, and other non-project needs. The negative reputation of ministries and charities among major donors must be overwhelmed by accountability — a tidal wave of information about where the donor’s contribution will go, and when, and how it will be accounted for. If administration will be part of the expenditure, tell the donor clearly from the beginning: “We will use 4% of your contribution to administrate the project,” or “We will use 8% of your gift to keep the rest of the ministry going while we’re accomplishing the project.” Worst possible scenario: failing to concede the administrative percentage, then being confronted by the major donor after he or she discovers it. This trashes a relationship badly.

* Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, More Than Money: The Truth About High-Capacity Givers.


How are you promoting trust with your donors?


About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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