The Kid That Only Calls Home When They Need Money

A while back I blogged about a conversation that I had with a donor that was concerned about the impact that our new tax code would have on nonprofits, particularly the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation. I was asked if I thought that fewer people would donate to OLSHF since doubling the amount of the standard deduction could take away the motivation for some to make charitable contributions over the course of a year.

It’s a great question and one that I recently posed to a number of financial professionals around the state of Oregon. I reached out to estate planning professionals, CPA’s, and financial advisors and asked a few questions, among them  “Have your clients expressed any change in their plans for charitable giving for the 2018 tax year?” and “What do you see as the #1 factor in whether a past donor continues to support a nonprofit organization in the future?”

Here are some of the responses that reflect the common themes I heard:

  • “Yes, they’re motivated by tax breaks, but they have to believe in the organization first.”
  • “(Donors) have asked about strategies like skipping a year of donations and then doubling up every other year (stacking donations in one year to get over the standard deduction and then just taking the standard deduction every other year).
  • “Charities will be scrutinized differently now that the tax benefit has been largely taken away from most folks.”
  • “Motivation for gifting is primarily for the mission and the tax break seems to put the icing on the cake.”
  • “Donors gift to organizations with the right mission and strong leadership showing progress for the mission.”
  • “The vast majority (of donors) are motivated by the mission of the organization.”
  • “The donor must have a positive and continuous relationship with the nonprofit AND he/she must believe in it.”

This last response went on to say, “I liken it to (the nonprofit) not being the kid that only calls home when they need money.”

This is exactly why OLSHF enjoys sharing stories with our donors – and with the general public. We’re proud of how we help people and we want to share with you these success stories. We enjoy staying in touch and – unlike that kind of kid – we don’t want to be in touch only when we’re asking for your support. We believe you enjoy hearing about the people who you help us help and we’ll continue to share stories on Facebook, in the Oregon Lion Magazine, on our website, and here on my blog.

So, yes, we’ll still reach out to you a few times a year for your support but we’ll also stay in touch to let you know how much we appreciate you.

And we’ll never show up unannounced expecting you to do our laundry.

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