Whose donors are they?

When you say my donors or our donors you sometimes you accidentally slip into a dangerous delusion: That they really are yours.

Fact is, you share your donors with a number of other charities, an important point made at the Kirk Marketing bog: This donor is MY donor.

The downside of the My Donors Delusion is that your donors will respond to anything you do. That might be true if they really were giving only to you. But they aren’t, and you need to stand out from the crowd of organizations they like:

… you need find out what your donors want and show them how you fit in that picture. How can you enrich their lives? It’s not about you, it’s about them. Your best donors are those who are also other charities’ best donors.

Make your messaging about your donors — that’s how you stand out and succeed.


Comments

2 responses to “Whose donors are they?”

  1. This bothers me on so many levels! First, the implication that one person “owns” another (just offensive). Second, that the success of any area of the total fundraising team is because Donor X gave to (annual giving/major gifts/planned gifts/events). That idea of scarcity in the fundraising space creates negative work relationships within charities and resistance to collaboration in the sector. Third, as mentioned above, is that they no longer need wooing and delighting… and you can move on to the next prospect to capture. I think fundraisers should really think about it before they use this phrase!

  2. This bothers me on so many levels! First, the implication that one person “owns” another (just offensive). Second, that the success of any area of the total fundraising team is because Donor X gave to (annual giving/major gifts/planned gifts/events). That idea of scarcity in the fundraising space creates negative work relationships within charities and resistance to collaboration in the sector. Third, as mentioned above, is that they no longer need wooing and delighting… and you can move on to the next prospect to capture. I think fundraisers should really think about it before they use this phrase!

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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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