Fundraising vs loneliness — another reason our work is important

Here’s something good your fundraising does other than raise funds: It connects people who need connection.

The Cause & Effect blog, noting a study on loneliness, pointed this out recently, at Fundraisers — your caring stewardship might ease a donor’s loneliness.

It’s true: Many people are lonely. Having less human contact than they want or need. It’s typically more common for older people — that is, your donors.

When you make contact with them, it may be very welcome to them. That’s why they pay attention to our messages in ways that sometimes puzzle us.

… it adds an importance to caring for our donors beyond the potential return in gifts to our organizations. It should make you pause and think again about dashing off that aseptic thank you letter — bereft of emotion or personal connection.

People I know who have a lot of contact with donors agree: Many donors love the contact. All of it.

It’s easy for those of us wrapped up in busy careers and life stages that seem to give us no time along to ignore the reality of loneliness. But believe it or not, if you’re a fundraiser, you’re a loneliness fighter.

Another reason to be proud you’re a fundraiser.


Comments

6 responses to “Fundraising vs loneliness — another reason our work is important”

  1. How many of us got to know those wonderful, older donors – who could give only small amounts, but did so as often as possible? Who read every word you sent them – and took the time to write back? Who were thrilled with that phone call that we were assuming was an intrusion?
    This is so right on.

  2. How many of us got to know those wonderful, older donors – who could give only small amounts, but did so as often as possible? Who read every word you sent them – and took the time to write back? Who were thrilled with that phone call that we were assuming was an intrusion?
    This is so right on.

  3. Thanks, Jeff, for sharing our blog about loneliness. It’s been on my mind since I saw The Lunchbox and heard an NPR show the other day about how just saying hello to someone makes people feel better in a way that lasts all day. We fundraisers have so many opportunities to brighten lives –if we do so authentically and with true caring.
    Best,
    Gayle

  4. Thanks, Jeff, for sharing our blog about loneliness. It’s been on my mind since I saw The Lunchbox and heard an NPR show the other day about how just saying hello to someone makes people feel better in a way that lasts all day. We fundraisers have so many opportunities to brighten lives –if we do so authentically and with true caring.
    Best,
    Gayle

  5. Thank you. This is a constant conversation among my small team of fundraisers. One of the most valuable things we can give back to our donors is our time… on the phone, at open days and visiting their homes.
    We visit people just for a cup of tea and a chat. It’s a great way to add value to your donors lives instead of always asking for something. And, they’re so much fun! We’re hoping to use volunteers to do more in the future.

  6. Thank you. This is a constant conversation among my small team of fundraisers. One of the most valuable things we can give back to our donors is our time… on the phone, at open days and visiting their homes.
    We visit people just for a cup of tea and a chat. It’s a great way to add value to your donors lives instead of always asking for something. And, they’re so much fun! We’re hoping to use volunteers to do more in the future.

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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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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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