Re-asking In Honor/Memory Donors

Dear Kim,

We receive a significant number of donations in honor/memory of individuals. Most are one time donations. Is it proper to add these donors to our ask list?

~Alone with My Memories

Dear Memories,

You ask a great question for organizations like yours who get a lot of these gifts, but the answer is fairly simple. People who make gifts to an organization in honor or memory of someone are supporting that person’s charity. The people making the gift may or may not even care that much about the charity. So what you need to do is thank the donor for their gift, leave them on your list for two rounds of asking or one year (hoping you do more than two asks in a year) and if they don’t give a second time, take them off your list. If you have an e-list open to anyone, you can add them there and keep in touch with them, but chances are they will opt out shortly. Essentially people who give in memory or in honor of someone make a good list for an acquisition appeal.   And one reason this is important is that people get very irritated when they keep being asked when they have only given once. This irritation can spill over to all the charities they give to, and we don’t need disgruntled donors.

~Kim Klein