Donors who give you only $5 a year–and have been doing it for many years–are outstanding prospects for a planned gift. You need to thank your small donors.
They may be testing you, to see whether you appreciate small donors, as they anticipate a larger gift. Or, they may be giving all they can (or all they feel they can) during life. Because they love your work so much, there may be a gift in their estate.
The savvy Planned Giving officer at New Jersey Institute of Technology knew this well. Monique Pryor wisely nurtured a relationship with Helen and John Hartmann, who had given NJIT around $25 a year for thirty years. Last week the college announced a $5 million gift from Mrs. Hartmann’s will, the largest in the school’s history.
You don’t thank small donors because they might some day be large donors. You thank them because it’s the right way to treat your donors.
Your small donors deserve your respect.