Wow! I was blown away with the incredible responses in the All Donors as Major Donors post. You had some incredible feedback and ideas, if you have not read the comments I recommend that you read it now. To be honest I thought that I was going to be laughed out of the room with that post. What surprised me the very most was that almost every comment that I received said, “I wish it could work that way.”
One major point was that treating all donors as major donors is not possible either logistically or cost-wise. I think that it is more a philosophy of cultivation issue not a logistics or cost issue. Start with the change in philosophy and if you have a capacity problem then it can be solved because people are giving more money so you can hire more people. I would start doing it incrementally first change the philosophy, then start hiring to meet the demand. As we all know fundraising is all about relationships. One comment that surprised me was from Aubrey. It surprised me because it reminded me that our current “major” gifts systems don’t always work and she gave a tangible example how to cultivate a $25 donor as if they were a major donor. I wish that this idea was simple, uncomplicated, and easy to realize. But we know it is not.
Here are a few questions that were raised in comments that I am going to think about a little more next week:From Cal’s comment, “To be honest, I want so much to believe in this stuff, but I see the real world for what it is. I agree with your premise, but would ask what is REAL generosity?” Roger comments, “This article could imply that if the donor (regardless of wealth) is not giving a substantial percentage of his or her wealth to your nonprofit organization, there is an attitude problem.” J. Erik Potter takes a step back and “stops time” and asks the question, “Even if you could spend all that time with a $25 donor, would you? Or is the idea of unlimited time too far out there to even comprehend?”Allena reminds us not to forget the volunteers. How would/could they fit into this?