I think that every person that gets into fundraising has the same heart as a program staffer. We believe in the issues and people that our non-profits serve. It is those issues and people that drive us to continue to do the very work we do. And we believe this so strongly that we commit to finding sustainability for the work that we do. Money is one of the closest things to our hearts and can be one of the most heartfelt responses to a need. We all want to lend a helping hand but when that helping hand is supported by financial resources we can often start to really solve problems.
Those of us that are in fundraising believe so strongly in what we are doing that simply addressing the direct issue is not enough. We need to gather other people around us to do the same thing. That is what our donors are they are the community advocates, the “evangelists,” the story tellers, of the important work that we are trying to do.
When I say that I want to treat my donors in a different way (All Donors as Major Donors) I am saying that real world change, really making a difference, happens because the entire organization is behind the same idea. This includes the donors and realizing that their giving cannot just be a one-time “payment” it has to be an “investment.” That their gift needs to signify more than just a transaction but a commitment to the mission of the non-profit. And if that investment is really going to effect the organization and make change then the development officer needs to understand and support why that investment is being made.
Fundraising is just as much about people and changing the world as a program staff position. We need to take a real and personal interest in the lives of those that are joining us in what we do… our donors.