Reciprocity or Exchange for Giving

Foundation, business, or event funding have reciprocity or exchange for funding built into their support.  

Foundations ask for why you need the money to learn if the reason matches their interests and goals. They require follow up reports to be informed of the benefits of funding. Reciprocity is in knowing they supported a need in their community and met a goal. 

Businesses are promoted for the support.  For example, their logo is used on website or their name is acknowledged at an event.  Their support is often linked with a mission their customers or employees care about. Businesses gain reciprocity of their support through customer acknowledgement.

Events are fun and participation is based on interest of the event.  Fun is the reciprocity.  Giving is generous, significant, and fun.

None of these funding sources are truly renewable. The foundation, business, or event attendees change to meet new goals or make new connections.  While the funding is generous and vital there is no long term sustainability.  The search for replacements is ongoing. Events tend to have a lifespan of a few years.

In 2015 Americans gave $373 billion.  Of that amount 80% was given by individuals as gifts or planned gifts.  Corporate giving was 3.9% and foundations gave 16% of the total giving.  (   When you read this information where do you think the best place for your limited resources in fundraising?

Individuals become donors and want to renew and will renew.  Individuals make planned gifts after giving several years to a mission.  Renewal confirms the person’s interest and value for the mission.  Yet, they are repeatability asked for money with no hint of partnership.  Individuals are most often asked by letter or email focused on money. They are given very little information. The smaller amount of their gift the less connected they feel.  They get asked over and over with no respect for the person and little connection to the mission.  A good giving experience includes the sense of belonging, with meaningful connections.

All fundraisers have stories of donors who give small gifts annually and leave a significant planned gift.  A donor of an organization that I served as development director received an $84,000 planned gift, after she gave $20 annually for years.  Donors most often give from the heart and love for the mission.

Can fundraisers lead the organizations to encourage longer time giving through meaningful donor connection, confirm donors are helping, and they have joined as partners with the organizationto serve their community through the mission.   Individual will continue to give when valued as people.  Individuals are the only real group to give on a renewing basis. 

When donor renewal is low, as it is now, the more it says donors are not being connected as partners.The more real and authentic their experience the longer they give.

Will the organization support the fundraisers to lead the support community in renewal through partnership? Donors who value the mission, and are considered partners in serving the mission with meaningful experiences, will renew.  It is the exchange or reciprocity for all.

To learn more about donor renewal email Penny, to begin a conversation.