Whom Do You Serve: Donor or Organization?

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.

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One Response to Whom Do You Serve: Donor or Organization?

  1. Nic Capp says:

    Hello Jason
    I’m very excited to read your post. The consultancy i started with a business partner in Australia continually runs into non profit organisations that value and regard well the people they serve (reflecting their core values and mission) but regard their donors as dollar signs or cheque books….they commodify their donors. Usually the non profit asks: “What value does the donor bring to us?” Our business is about challenging non profits to see their donors as people first (regardless of their wealth) and to ask the question: “What value do we (the non profit) bring the donor?”

    Keep up the good blogging

    Nic Capp

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