Love donors if you want them to love you

Have you ever known a nonprofit organization where a sneering disdain for donors is cultivated?

I have. It’s not pretty. They take the donors’ money, of course, but they don’t like the way donors think and behave. They spend a lot of time trying to “educate” donors into responding to a different style of fundraising. They seek new demographic slices that will “get it” better than the current crop.

You can imagine how fundraising goes in such organizations. It’s a struggle. And I can hardly imagine a less rewarding career than trying to motivate people you don’t really care for to do good deeds.

It’s critical that you love your donors. The Veritus Group blog makes the case at Are YOU in Love?

Loving the donor means working to build a culture of philanthropy within your organization that uplifts the donor. In this kind of workplace culture, everyone from the janitor to the CEO understands that donors are part of the mission.

And that means loving real donors, not fantasy donors you wish you had. Being a great fundraiser means, for most of us, loving older people who have an old-fashioned aesthetic and respond to simplistic messages. Cherishing them for the treasure they are. Being thankful for them — and to them.

Anyone who doesn’t do that isn’t really a fundraiser.


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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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