Receiving a letter like this one from a donor could be a game changer in your best donor relationships.

Dear Rabbi,
I’m looking forward to our meeting today.

Before we meet, I want to give you some insights to make you more successful in your interactions with me.

I know I’m hard to reach and don’t give you much time. Please show understanding and be patient with me.

The experiences of the past few months have made me take a deeper look at who I am and what I stand for.

I must say I’m happy with what your organization does. I believe in your mission and in your ability to deliver.

But let me make this really clear - when I donate, I don’t actually want whatever you're asking me to support.

Whether it’s the new yeshiva dorm or Poland trip for your students - a new Tesla will be far more satisfying - unless you can give me the experience I really crave when I donate.

I’ve been speaking with my wealthy friends and we’re all on the same page about this.

Below, is my list of what I want when I donate. It's a mix of the following...

...to feel I’m truly needed

...to be connected to something more meaningful in my life

...to be part of a social club of other wealthy people like me

...to be recognized as a supporter of Torah

...to get the zechus of giving

...to protect my wealth

...to feel like a hero having saved your organization in your time of need


I know some of these reasons I’ve given are more self-serving than others. But as I said I’m trying to be honest with you.

To get me to give, you have to figure out how to deliver on these wants before I give and once I've given.

Remember, keep doing this each and every time we interact. Doing so will make me a long term supporter to your organization.

Also, here’s the list I compiled of what my friends want from their donations:

...to feel that we're making a difference
...to be seen as a leader in our social network
...to be recognized as an early investor in the next big cause
...to repay a debt of gratitude
...to be seen as a gvir
...to feel generous
...to be a big player in your choshuv mosdos Torah
...to gain the satisfaction of having given anonymously
...to make an impact in the community, or country and for some, the world
...to have a close relationship with a visionary leader
...for you to be the one to implement our own vision for the world
...to get others giving
...to feel important
...to continue the giving traditions of our parents.
...to leave a legacy
...to be seen as a supporter to your organization
...to recognize a loved one
...because you made it easy to give


Other givers will want something else entirely.

Figure it out. Deliver what we want. You’ll go a long way.

Best wishes,
A Major Donor

P.S If you were feeling a bit confused during COVID-19 what changed with me, let me explain. My narrative shifted. And it has even shifted again since.

Back at the heart of the virus, I had two main fears: losing my money and losing my life (and the lives of my family members). My charitable giving then was more about doing things as an insurance for my money and health.

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Have a great week, b'hatzlacha raba raba,

Avraham

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