If, and this is a very big if, if I wore a bonnet, I’d have a bee in it.
A few weeks ago I asked a question on Linkedin, “Simple question today: when i say “donor centered” – what charity, agency or consultant do you think of ”
The results were interesting and insightful and I invite you to read them.
I asked because I had been thinking of gathering some “donor centered” experts, as determined and perceived by others, for either a panel at a conference or perhaps just an interesting article…
But what really got me heated up was the dismissal of donored centered fundraising as some sort of catch phrase, a buzz word, something flung around in boardrooms by high paid consultants… I suddenly felt dirty for even asking the question, like somehow I was being grouped in with a bunch of overpaid, buzz word spewing consultants who have raked valuable dollars way from those who need it …
In the halls of Agents of Good, donored centered fundraising isn’t a buzzword. It’s a way of life.
If you don’t know what it means, either you don’t do it or don’t care to find out.
BUT you are in luck, I’m gonna tell you.
It means, (and please listen closely) that all things you do, you do for your donor.
Does that sound like a buzzword?
All things you do, you do for your donor.
Your charity was created because someone or ‘someone’s’… Wanted to make a difference or fix something that needed fixing. Once it was created, it needed some people to help sustain it, support it, nurture it, care for it… These people are called staff, board and donors… All of them are very important.
But at the the end of the day, the only consistent… Is your donors. Your staff, your board, you… Will come and go… But your donors, if they are cared for, supported and nurtured, will stay forever.
So who is the most important entity in this relationship?
A 80 page annual report all about your programs? Not donor centered.
A newsletter with small pics of people holding big cheques? Not about your donor.
A website with tiny type and links to every other site on the internet? Nope.
Tweeting about a volunteer who made a difference today – that’s donor centered.
Sharing the stories of how someone’s life was changed due donor support – that’s donor centered.
Making it easy for people to give and support – that’s donor centered.
Saying thank you when someone gives – that’s donor centered.
ACTUALLY caring and remembering you have donors with names and lives (and not numbers!) – that’s donor centered!
Don’t tell me you are being donor centered when you aren’t. Don’t tell me it’s a buzz word because you don’t know what it means and don’t tell me you can’t do it cause it costs too much money.
All things you do for your donor.
Put that on your wall above your desk and JFDI.