Celebrate “Be Your Donor” Day tomorrow

Tomorrow, October 24, is a holiday I hope you’ll celebrate: Be Your Donor Day, as proclaimed by Network for Good.

The goal:

You absolutely must set aside time to put yourself in your donor’s shoes to guarantee that your fundraising strategy will inspire them to give more.

Go and check out the Be Your Donor Day website to find links to all kinds of resources and inspiration to help you understand and think like your donor.

It’s high time, too.

Because the other 364 days each year are actively spent by many fundraisers imagining that our donors are us — and figuring out new ways to squeeze them into a mold more to their liking.

I urge you to take a few minutes tomorrow to ask yourself these questions:


  • Do you speak your donors’ language, or are you trying to force them to learn your professional jargon and in-house language?
  • Do you wish you had better, smarter, wealthier, younger, cooler donors — or do you celebrate your donors for who they are?
  • Are you describing your mission so it will motivate donors to get involved — or are you using your marketing to make your staff feel good?
  • Are your fundraising offers designed to help your donors see, feel, and understand what their dollars accomplish, or are you exiling them to arm’s-length unrestricted money territory?
  • Do you report back to donors on what their giving has made possible?
  • Does your website make online giving intuitive, easy, and rewarding?
  • Are you making sure you don’t make vexing errors like spelling donors’ names wrong or recording their giving inaccurately?


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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