What your donors want from you

We know what we want from donors.

It’s funding to power our organization and change the world.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. If you want the funding, you need to give something in return. But what?

Here are some great thoughts from the Veritus Group Blog, at Four Things That All Donors Want:

  1. To be known. Probably every human on this planet has a secret worry that hardly anyone knows who they are or really cares about them. It haunts us all. And it’s often fed by the way we get treated by corporations and (sadly) the nonprofits we support. When we send irrelevant fundraising that’s all me-me-me and no “you can do” — we support that dreadful hypothesis that they aren’t known. It’s even worse when we fail to thank them for giving. Or thank them in a perfunctory, sloppy way. Let your donor know she matters to you and is known by you!
  2. To be treated as a partner. Are you donors just a source of cash? Or are they valued partners in your shared mission to make the world a better place? Show them which one they are with donor-focused fundraising that’s abut what they can do — not how awesome you are!
  3. To be told the truth. Never stretch the truth, even a tiny little bit. Be open, clear, and honest all the time. You owe that to your donors.
  4. To know their gift made a difference. Your donors are afraid their donation is not important, doesn’t accomplish anything, and isn’t appreciated. Show them otherwise. Thank them promptly, with real emotion. And keep reporting back to them the amazing things they’ve helped make happen.

Those are things your donors hope to get from their giving. Far too often, they aren’t getting those things. If you are one of the few who are meeting their needs, they will keep responding to you.

That’s the secret.


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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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