Just because you are a nonprofit, with a lean budget doesn’t mean you will not receive requests for money. In my past I received requests from members for their personal or family needs, from other nonprofits with similar interests, from community organizations that wish to use the funds to donate back out into the community.
Of course you understand their need and right to ask, and having to decline can feel bad. Most people in this field tend to want to help and give; and ironically are often least in the position to do so. And it is not as if your organization doesn’t do the exact same thing, ask for financial help.
The Golden Rule Really Does Apply Here:
You know how it feels to be denied, turned down, get strung along with no payoff or simply never hear back. So, don’t do those things. Be direct, compassionate. Think in advance for some clear language that honors the requests while not being able to provide the funds, or time, or sponsorship or whatever.
We all understand that more times than not, no is the answer we will get when we ask. What is the nicest decline you ever received? Skip the canned, insincere and generic for a “ thank you for your request, I appreciate being considered. I/We can’t help you at this time, we are committed to”….whatever is the truth.
· Don’t agonize, decide.
· Don’t waste anyone’s time yours or theirs.
· Understand it is hard to ask, be kind.
· Move on.