Inviting Donors to Join the Mission: How it Works

Last week the focus of my article was “asking” and “giving”.    Now we can transform that way of thinking.  “Inviting” and “Joining” will change the work and interaction between donors and fundraisers.

This is not just semantics, it changes the experience for the “asker”.  Most people find asking for anything uncomfortable.  For donors the giving experience can feel like throwing money into an organization without real connection.  The fundraiser focuses on getting closer to their financial goal and the donor experiences giving money to the organization.  In the moment of the transaction both can feel satisfied.

When inviting a person to join the organization as a supporter, the donor experiences an interaction that feels like a partnership.  In this invitation donors are engaged as people, joining the leaders and staff serving their community.  Donors are insiders.  When they are connected to the mission and understand the value of their investment they, want to renew. The experience of the being asked for their money is diminished.  The giving experience is changed.

Connecting with the donor and their belief in the mission will motivate them to learn more of the mission service and the value of the organization’s programs to their community.  Their engagement with the mission supports their renewal.

Penelope Burk’s Annual Donor Survey (2014)  www.cygresearch.com reports when asked 67% of donors would renew and 52% would make a larger gift.  When people feel they belong, are helping, with meaningful connections, they will want renew.

Donors are real partners with organization’s leaders and staff serving a community need.  We all know, organizations are formed to meet a community needs and it takes a collaboration of people to create successful service for that community.  This means leaders, professionals, volunteers and donors are partners.  Let’s invite donors to be partners.

Mission Centered Fundraising (MCF) makes interaction more important that transaction.  It is a 3-part system to involve donors in long-term relationship as partners, renewing their support annually.  Let’s have a conversation on how you can begin to provide Mission Centered Fundraising for individual donors.  

Linking (Gestalt) Coaching with Philanthropy: “Where Philanthropy IS more than Money”

Linking (Gestalt) Coaching with Philanthropy: “Where Philanthropy IS more than Money”

This reflection presents how certain Gestalt principles of the Cape Cod Model©—Strategic and Intimate Interactions, Well-Developed Competencies/Less Developed Competencies— advanced at the Gestalt International Study Center (GISC), along with Beisser’s (1970) notion of “The Paradoxical Theory of Change,” can be used to frame the behavior within the “asking and giving” culture of philanthropy. These principles, in offering opportunities for change, would improve the experience of the “asker” and the “giver.” Philanthropy is more than the money. A resilient philanthropic culture is generated when people experience the joy and passion of working together in generous support of community.

Low Donor Renewal and Donor-Advised Funds. Is there a Connection?

Low Donor Renewal and Donor-Advised Funds. Is there a Connection?

Is this a crazy idea? Let’s look a little deeper. Low donor renewal happens when people don’t make a meaningful connection with the benefits of their gift. Donor-advised funds are managed by professional investment managers who work for the donors investing their philanthropy. The donor doesn’t need to have any relationship with the development professional, executive or other leaders.

Where’s the focus: The Donor or Their Money?

Where’s the focus: The Donor or Their Money?

There is so much pressure to meet financial goals, who has the time to learn a person’s real interest and connection to the mission? It seems less complicated to keep telling people of the need for money and get as many people as possible to make a gift. It’s easier to learn what triggers a person’s interest to make a gift. We have become very skilled at getting the first gift.