Is your donor-centric approach just fake news?

We’re well into the era when a majority of fundraisers would say they believe in being “donor centric.”

That’s a good thing.

But I don’t think we’ve yet started the era where a majority of fundraisers actually are donor centric.

Two reasons:

  1. Being donor centric is easier said than done.
  2. A lot of people have no idea what it actually means to be donor centric.

Here’s help from The Agitator: Donor-Centric or Faux Donor-Centric? Check the Plumbing.

Here’s The Agitator’s list of things that can tell you whether you’re Donor-Centric or Faux Donor-Centric:

  • Do staff and consultant performance reviews include contributions made to advancing donor satisfaction, retention and responsiveness?
  • Are donor service personnel properly trained, recognized and compensated within the organization?
  • Do donor-facing personnel participate in discussions around creating donor experiences?
  • Are all departments aware of and focused on the same donor retention, commitment and satisfaction goals?
  • Do the board and CEO routinely participate in reviews of donor retention and commitment rates?
  • Does leadership place more emphasis and importance on current donors than potential donors?
  • Do the organization have methods for seeking donor feedback, responding quickly to donor concerns and sharing these concerns across departments and with leadership?
  • Is the organization willing to change or adapt processes to meet donor concerns based on feedback?
  • Does the organization have a true focus on donor needs and a process for meeting those needs?
  • Does the organization follow basic practices to maintain and update donor addresses and remove deceased donors’ names and addresses?
  • A leadership and management culture willing to have its own assumptions challenged and tested through input and feedback from donors?
  • Investing more in making functions work more simply and easily for the donor as opposed to working for the convenience of the organization?
  • Providing easy-to-find contact information and feedback channels that are responsive and easy to use by the donor?

Yep. It’s hard work. But it’s the only viable way to succeed at fundraising.


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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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