I recently had the privilege of being on The Small NonProfit Podcast with my fierce feminist fundraising colleague Cindy Wagman to talk all things #donorlove. I love conversations like this, and I always find that these conversations help me define, redefine and improve the language we use around #donorlove. These #donorlove echoes are everywhere, if we choose to listen.
You’ll hear us try to express #donorlove the same way that Obi-Wan Kenobi talks about the force in Star Wars: A New Hope. As Obi-Wan says: the force is what gives a Jedi their power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together. #donorlove is the philosophy of taking what we know as living, loving, caring human beings and applying it to our work every day, to change the world.
Cindy and I talk about the practice of putting your donors first, the steps you can take to meet donors where they are, and the delightful discipline of choosing to say to your donors, “I see you, I value you, you matter” every single time you interact with them.
And Cindy and I talk about how authenticity is the new fundraising currency. That when we actively choose to fundraise with values and emotions, and we lean into the discomfort that comes with being open and honest and sharing our stories, when we acknowledge our vulnerability but make the choice to speak our truth and really ask for what we need, amazing things happen. Watch this space, and the NonProfit Storytelling Conference 2019 for a deeper dive into what Steven Screen and I are calling the Vulnerability Project.
Yesterday, I got another #donorlove echo. Hava Goldberg sent a tweet sharing that her favourite part of the podcast is what I believe to be an untapped goldmine of storytelling and #donorlove. Some of the most powerful stories in our sector exist entirely outside of our program teams, our communications teams and our board meetings. As charities, we have the beautiful opportunity to help our donors tell the story of themselves by giving to us.
Please, have a listen and let us know what you think. And for all you readers and mentors and forever learners, thank you for being part of our abundance mindset. This blog was inspired by and improved by Agents John and Holly, who help make my voice stronger by reading my work and by having open and ongoing conversations with me and others, every single day.