There is more to fundraising than raising money for a good cause. One reason I enjoy fundraising is that we have an opportunity to come alongside people and help them give away one of their most valuable resources: money. Money is often very close to people’s heart. When we give it away to a nonprofit or a specific cause it has great meaning.
I spoke with a local foundation executive a few weeks ago and she offered some advice that has stuck with me. As we talked about our opportunity to serve donors, she said one of the keys to successful and meaningful fundraising is to remember to serve both the organization and the donor. It comes naturally for most people to serve the organization they work for. How often do we look out for the best interests of the donor?
We should treat each donor in the same spirit as we would care about someone our nonprofit is serving. This has to be deeper than donor stewardship. People can tell when you genuinely care for them versus when you are looking to receive a donation from them. This comes naturally to many people, but not everyone. Organizations that I give the very most are places where the executive director is my friend.