The surprising thing donors want that you don’t understand

You are not your donor.

That’s easy enough to say, but let’s look at one way the difference plays out that just might shock you. It’s what you fundamentally want from life. It’s likely not the same as what your donors want.

People in their 50s and older (that is, most donors) equate happiness with peacefulness.

Younger people (that is, most fundraisers) usually equate happiness with excitement.

If you are in your peacefulness phase, you can probably remember your excitement phase, so it’s not hard to understand. But if you’re living in the excitement phase of life, you might find it hard to grasp how anyone would be motivated by peacefulness.

This profound difference often trips up young fundraisers. They work to create “exciting” fundraising, assuming that “excitement” is a good way to motivate donors to give. It plays out in ways like these:

  • Excessively vibrant and youthful looking design.
  • Advertising-style hype.
  • Constantly changing messaging.
  • Frequent re-brands.

It all seems right to them, because it addresses their need for excitement. But it misses what older donor actually want.

Big mistake. And very common.

Remember who your donors are. And remember the ways they are different from you.

(This post first appeared on January 17, 2019.)


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

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.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog