It happens. It shouldn’t happen often if you’ve done your cultivation properly, but it does happen. What do you do when your donor says no?
How about a handwritten note, genuinely thanking them for their consideration, prayer, contemplation—whatever is appropriate to your situation. Step one.
Do you continue with stewardship or do you pick up the phone and move to the next prospect? You do both.
Not as manipulation or positioning for the next gift, but showing genuine concern for your donor—and understanding why you heard “no” are part of respecting the donor and putting the donor ahead of the gift, no matter what the reason for “no”.
Is the next time they hear from you when you think they might be a prospect for a gift? Shouldn’t be. If there hasn’t been any meaningful contact in-between, you have a long road ahead of you.
Caring for your donor comes first. Everything else comes later.