It’s an Investment
This won’t surprise you, but in many respects, sophisticated philanthropists are much like their for-profit investor counterparts. They tend to be risk-averse and return oriented. (Read that: they want results.)
Have you noticed? More and more are using the word investment when making a gift. They feel they are making an investment in your organization. And they want to know what is the return on their investment. The dividends.
This means you must let them know the results of their investments.
None of this means that your investors avoid spontaneity or innovation. But I’ve found that you’d better know your probable donors quite well before you make an adventurous ask.