When Donors Announce They're Stopping Their Support
This morning on skype “O” asked: “Two monthly donors just told me they are stopping support. What do I do now?”
I could sense O’s discouragement so I asked “What did you say to them? He said, “I asked, ‘What could I have done differently to have kept your support?’”
“Great question!” That is action step #1.
- Find out why they are stopping. In a formal study, Navigator donors stopped giving 19% of the time because of inadequate communication from the missionary. Good to know. You may be able to do something about it.
- Thank them for their giving. Hebrews 12:28 says, “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe.” Show gratitude for what they have done—don’t resent what they have not done.
- Ask to continue the friendship. If you abandon the relationship because they stop giving, what does that say about you? I say this: “May I keep sending you our prayer newsletters? I hope you will continue to pray for us.”
- Closure Letter. Within a few days, send a closure letter with a gift—a spiritually stimulating book or souvenir from your country. You can find a sample closure letter below!
Suppose a stranger comes to your door tomorrow morning and hands you a $20 bill. No strings attached! You’d be grateful! Suppose this stranger comes the second morning with another $20 bill! And every day for 15 days—$20 every day.
But the 16th day he doesn’t show up. You look out the window, down the street—“Where’s my $20?”
I told this story to O. We laughed, but we both admitted we would feel disappointed on day 16—even a little angry because the stranger didn’t show up with ‘our’ $20. Why?
We missionaries are accustomed to people supporting us—we sometimes feel entitled! We are thankful—but only until support stops!
You are going to lose giving partners now and then. But show gratitude for what they have done rather than being disappointed in what they are not going to do. Let gratitude reign! It’s not optional!