A Donor-Centred Approach – Three Essential Truths

A Donor-Centred Approach – Three Essential Truths

We’re on the right track. But we’ve still got a long way to go. For the past 20 years the not-for-profit sector has been talking about donor-centred fundraising. And in the last decade many have succeeded in thanking donors faster and providing feedback to donors. Some organizations – or at least some departments within organizations – write great donor-focused communications. Today most fundraisers know that taking a donor-centred approach to fundraising is key to success. This is in very large part thanks to the inspiring work, teachings and high visibility of people like Ken Burnett, Tom Ahern, Simone Joyaux, passionate consultants like Agents of Good, and a host of donor-focused fundraisers (to name any would exclude others who deserve to be noted). And for the benefit of those who need proof that superlative donor care is worthwhile … thanks to the professional research and publications of people like Adrian Sargeant, and Penelope Burke … we also have scientific evidence that a donor-centred approach is key to fundraising success. So we have come a long way. But we’re not there yet. Staff and volunteers who don’t have the title of “fundraiser” may agree that a donor-centred approach to fundraising is key to the successful raising of funds. “Good idea.” “Makes sense.” “We should value our donors.” “Yes, everyone is talking about that these days, you should do that too.” They don’t think it has anything to do with them. REALLY? WRONG! It has everything to do with them. But it’s our fault as fundraisers that they don’t get it. You see, for the longest time, we’ve been talking about “relationship fundraising” and...