16 things your donors wish you’d do

What do you donors want? Here’s a list from Marketsmart, at 16 simple things your best donors want:

  1. They want you to do the important work they can’t or won’t do.
  2. They want you to give them the credit and praise for your achievements. They want to be the hero in the story, not you.
  3. They want you to remind them how great they are frequently.
  4. They want you to take an interest in them and their story.
  5. They want service and respect when they reach out to you.
  6. They want empathy.
  7. They want you to tell them what you did with their money.
  8. They want you to be transparent about how you accomplished your objectives.
  9. They want you to be fair, honest and trustworthy.
  10. They want opportunities to give you feedback with two-way communications.
  11. They want you to provide value to both them and the people (or objectives) their donations support.
  12. They want you to deliver real results, make an impact, or foster change.
  13. They want you to offer them opportunities to engage and immerse themselves in your mission so they can feel more involved.
  14. They want those engagement opportunities to be convenient for them.
  15. They want to be able to invite their friends and family to participate.
  16. They want you to make it easy!

Simple, and not so simple.

Take a look at the last few fundraising messages that have landed in your mailbox, inbox, or social media feeds.

How many are trying to give you these things?

Not many, I’ll guess. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that if you meet even a handful of these donor needs, you’ll stand head-and-shoulders above most of your donors’ causes.

When you make donating a rewarding experience, you get more donations from more donors. It’s that simple.


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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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