You cannot not communicate
“You cannot not communicate. Every behaviour is a kind of communication. Because communication does not have a counterpart (there is no anti-behaviour), it is not possible not to communicate.”
Paul Watzalwick’s First Axiom of Communications.
Everything you do to a donor communicates something:
- If you ask but never give.
- If you only talk about what your charity has done and not what the donor’s gift has achieved.
- if you tell but never listen.
- If you send donors what you choose rather than what they want.
- If you make donors follow your rules rather than adapting to their preferences.
- If you are offline when they are online.
- If you are boring.
- If you use jargon.
- If you aren’t relevant.
- If you don’t do anything at all.
Every action (or non-action) tells the donor something about how you view and value them.
Think carefully next time you choose to do something, even if you decide to do nothing.