Donors are People, Too!

I’ve noticed an “us versus them” attitude with fundraisers and donors. Us development staff spend hours trying to understand what motivates, inspires, and eventually causes donors to give. What makes them happy. What makes them sad. Heck, there are countless studies on what day of the week and time of day donors are on Facebook!

I understand the value of understanding the art of giving – and I appreciate that people want to understand what donors want instead of cramming solicitations down their throat. But when does this interest go too far?

I’m here to make a bold statement.

Donors are people, too!

Development staff get so wrapped up in understanding what donors might want that they get scared to do anything at all. Acknowledgement letters go out without personal notes. Major donors don’t get regular calls. Volunteers are never asked for money.

We need to make a change. The next time you send an appeal to a donor you know recently donated, take two minutes to hand write a note to thank them. On a random day, call up a major donor just to say thank you. Sending an acknowledgment letter to someone who gives regularly? Reference that!

These are not big changes. They’re small, but I promise you they make a world of difference. When was the last time you got anything hand written in the mail? Follow the golden rule – for every donor you work with, treat them the way you want to be treated. Simply acknowledge that they’re special.

Because donors are people, too.

-N.C.

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