6 assumptions you should make about donors

Here’s a useful infographic from the Customer Experience Matters blog:

1803_HumanizeCX_Infographic

It’s worth a close look, even though it’s not directly aimed at nonprofits, because it’s a look at how people think and decide. Which, if you work with the reality, can give you a powerful advantage.

Just to bring it into the fundraising world, here are the “6 components of human beings,” with what each might mean for fundraisers:

  1. Make most decisions based on mental shortcuts. You can explain and educate until the cows come home. That’s not what’s going to motivate people to give. Keep it simple!
  2. View the world from their own perspective. Which is almost certainly different from your perspective. Trying to bring them to your worldview is a massive waste of money that will neither change your donors nor raise meaningful funds.
  3. Remember experiences based on how they make them feel. Not based on the facts they read. That’s why making emotional connections is so critical.
  4. Look for opportunities to satisfy intrinsic needs. The main reason donors give is to meet their own needs.
  5. Desire to make connections with other people. Not to fund organizations.
  6. Flourish when they envision a positive future. This is why reporting back on the impact of their giving (as opposed to your awesomeness) is critical to success.

Successful fundraisers operate under these assumptions.

Let’s talk. I’ll help you put humanizing assumptions to work in your fundraising. I’m available for free 25-minute coaching sessions. Just click here and directly schedule an online conversation with me or with Sean Triner.


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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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