4 things your donors wish you knew about donor love

Donor love can transform your fundraising. And your fundraising career.

But what, exactly, is donor love?

It’s a set of tactics aimed at winning the donor over by putting her at the center of the story. It’s honoring, thanking, and listening to the donor.

But donor love is also an attitude, a mindset. It’s not unlike “being in love” — it sits in the background (sometimes in the foreground) of everything you do, guiding your thinking and behavior.

When you have donor love in your heart and mind, you can invent amazing new ways to connect with your donors.

Here are some thoughts to make donor love part of your mindset:

  1. We are not entitled to donor support. A sense of entitlement hovers in the background of a lot of poor fundraising — a belief that donors should give because we are important. No donor is obligated to support your organization — and donors are increasingly skeptical and choosy about which organizations they will donate to. It’s your job to win the donor over, showing how giving to your organization matters to her.
  2. The donor is the hero of every fundraising story you tell. Don’t tell stories about how amazing your organization is. Be amazing, but show the donor that you are a tool for her to be amazing.
  3. Donors don’t give because we are awesome; they donate because they are awesome! The job of a donor-love fundraiser is to remind the donor how awesome she is and give her the opportunity to put her awesomeness to work through your organization.
  4. Donors want to give. Love is a two-way street. Remember that the donor gets as much out of the relationship as we do. Keep that in mind!


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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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