“To donate or not to donate is NOT the question!” Clearly a business needs to be a team player. The question should be “HOW do we donate?”, “What are our preferred methods and systems to manage the requests?” This may be just as treacherous as a yes, no or maybe so!
For instance, you could qualify the request. Are you a client? What are you raising money for? What will you do for this donation? How will you promote us? These conversations will interfere with your regularly scheduled work day. Your time is valuable, and the tremendous time these distractions take replace the chance for you to allocate your time properly. After all, taking exceptional care of your existing clients is the smartest use of your time, which as you know, are your best clients and source of future referrals.
You could hand them your form or send them to your website to fill out a form. But the result will be just like “Maybe So.” They will feel like they are in limbo, a leaf in the Autumn wind,– ready to drop at any minute. I’ll think about it!
You could be bold and conditional. “Yes, sure, I will donate but only if you become a client.” Now they think you are greedy and have crazy thoughts about what a nerve you have trying to define your return on investment. They may become judgmental, viewing you as a non-altruistic giver.
Yet another tactic is you could tell them about all the other organizations you already support– sharing that you are maxed out. This too backfires. The volunteer non-profit solicitor becomes disappointed you are not supporting THEIR cause and they may even view you as a braggadocio!
Alas, what is a business owner to do?…