I received an email from a reader at Actually Giving few weeks ago and she mentioned how rarely, as fundraisers, we talk about our own personal giving. Today I want to talk a little about my theories as to why I give, and first thing next week I’ll post where and why I give money.
I prefer to give deeply instead of giving broadly. When I first started in fundraising, I was shocked at how little money people actually gave. I realized that, through my giving to church, I could actually be considered a major donor at most organizations. Giving is about choosing a couple of organizations and making a significant gift. I’m a big advocate for monthly giving as it allows someone to give small gifts throughout the year that add up to one big gift.
In the back of my head, I’ve convinced myself that I’m a great fundraiser. In order for an organization to get money from me, they have to do as good of a job in cultivating me as I think I’m doing with other people. For example I expect to get a thank you letter within a week, if it’s someone I know I appreciate a thank you call or email. I love when I get a thank you letter and it has a little note on it even when the note just says thank you. So I’ve created a bit of a high standard. Because of this I find that it can be difficult for a new organization to acquire me as a new donor.
On Wednesday I’ll give some more specifics about where I give to and why. What is your philosophy of giving? Do you believe that fundraisers should be philanthropists too?