Remembering to Appreciate Your Current Donors

Posted on 11/26/2014

Two Boats and a HelicopterSeveral years ago in a small coastal town, there was a terrible flood. Fortunately, most of the townspeople were able to evacuate safely in advance. However, there was one person – a development officer – who insisted on staying put. As the floodwater rose, the development officer climbed onto the roof. A rescue boat soon arrived and called for him to climb in. He refused, claiming that, as someone who had spent his life doing noble work, he would be watched over. “Go save others,” he said.

The rain continued to fall and the water rose. The development officer climbed higher onto the roof and soon a second boat arrived. Once again he refused to climb in. “I’ve devoted my life to helping others and important causes,” he said. “God will protect me.”

Well, the rain didn’t let up and the water rose higher. The development officer climbed to the very top of the roof. As he clung to a weather vane, a rescue helicopter hovered overhead and let down a rope ladder. Once again, he refused help.

Sadly, the flood got worse and the development officer drowned. When he arrived in heaven he took the first opportunity to speak with God. Trying his best to hide his frustration, the development officer asked, “God, I devoted my entire life to helping others and important causes. Why didn’t you save me?”

God sat quietly for a moment. Then, with a warm smile and a gentle shrug of his shoulders, he said, “I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What more did you want?”

Now here’s the moral of the story: Don’t spend your valuable time looking for something better. Appreciate what you have now.

The same is true in fundraising. Don’t spend all of your time and resources seeking out the next big gift or donor. Instead, try to appreciate the donors you have now. Pay attention to them. Remind them that they’re important. Make them feel special. When you focus on the donors you have now, everything else will take care of itself.

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