Are you the type of person that wears their heart on their sleeve? I am and I find it very difficult to hide my feelings when going through difficult times. If I’m with a donor and they ask “How are you?” – and I can’t honestly say that “I’m good” – then I won’t. I share what’s going on in my life that is causing me distress. I don’t spend a lengthy time discussing it, but, in one sentence will share what the challenge is. For me, it’s brought me closer to my donors. I am speaking to them as a friend. If I’m asking them to share intimate details about their passions, family, and background, then I should be willing to share some of my personal details. And when I say personal details I mean outside of the office. If there are difficulties at work, I would never share that with a donor because they should always feel confident that the organization is strong.
We should always talk to our donors as if they are our friends. You want them to want to spend time with you – have a smile on their face when you call, instead of thinking “What is she going to ask me for now?” I’ve actually had donors call me and ask me to lunch! Just because they want to catch up on how my family is doing.
I’ve spoken about the importance of authenticity previously and it is especially important here. You are sharing your personal life with them because there is a genuine connection. You both care deeply about the organization and its mission. Friends are there for you in good times and bad. Youwant your donors to be there for the organization in good times and bad.
Thank you. I have been waiting to hear these two words from someone who has only expressed discontent for a situation I was desperately trying to resolve. All the angst and frustration that I have allowed myself to experience dissipated with just two words – thank you. I finally felt some sense of appreciation and recognition for the efforts I have been putting forth and felt the power of words.
I began to think of the importance of thanking our donors. They want to know that they are appreciated. They are not just an ATM but are human beings who want to help solve a problem. They take time out of their lives to learn about our organizations and our missions and contemplate where they might best fit in. It is more than just writing a check and we need to express our gratitude and respect their efforts in deciding to make an investment with us. Say thank you but say it authentically. Express that you understand that they put thought and effort into making their gift. You recognize their efforts and they are appreciated. Thank you.
I am an experienced fundraiser with over 20 years in the nonprofit industry as a volunteer and professional. I am a CFRE and completed a Master in Nonprofit Administration. I also believe in being mindful and present at home and at work. We are all one and no one person is better than another. We just have different skill sets and the key is to embrace them in ourselves and others. Together we can do incredible things.
I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton