Monday, March 4, 2013

5 Questions About Donors

What makes donors tick? That's a question that some fundraisers don't necessarily feel the need to answer; if they're giving money who cares, right? To keep them giving, however, it is good to get a better idea of what donors are thinking.

Understanding what donors are thinking will give you a better idea of how to cultivate them and, in turn, allow your organization to have enough money to complete its mission. In his book, “The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising,” Larry C. Johnson poses several questions that he believes nonprofits should be asking about their donors. Those questions are:

  • Why are donors’ values important? When organizations come to terms with the fact that donors are people just like nonprofit employees -- and act upon this certainty -- they have made the single most important step toward success in fundraising.
  • What is philanthropy ultimately about? It is about giving and receiving. Donors want to be engaged, not enticed.
  • How can an organization engage donors? Engaging people by first learning who they are and what is important to them allows a charity to fashion messages that will be understood, acted upon and appreciated.
  • What do donors want? First and foremost, donors want to be seen for what they are -- investors.
  • What is the difference between program focus and donor focus? It is important to remember that people give to people. Programming is merely the vehicle to enriching the lives and meeting the needs of human beings.

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