From the mouths of donors: Wrap-up

For the last four days, we’ve heard unfiltered responses from real, live donors with regard to who they give to and why they give as well as what they are looking for in order to continue giving. So, the question now shifts to: “What are you going to do about it?”

I’ve had an opportunity to soak-up this week’s blog series, and here are a few ideas if you want to make this input/feedback actionable:

  • Call a few board members and recruit them to go with you on face-to-face stewardship visits with your top 25 donors;
  • Call a few donors and ask permission to visit with them and videotape their story about why they give to your organization. Edit and replay these stories in your board room.
  • Organize a few donor focus groups on any number of different subjects. Click here to read a great online article about how and why to do this.
  • Develop and launch a donor survey. Penelope Burk has made a career out of asking donors why they give and what makes them tick. Click here to read the executive summary of Penelope’s 2011 donor survey results. Doing the same might just give you some insights you never had about your organization or your resource development program.
  • Start a volunteer management program and squirrel some money away in next year’s budget to hire a volunteer coordinator.
  • Start an alumni chapter and get the old gang back together. Remember that people don’t have time to belong to a “name only” group. So, make sure your alumni efforts have purpose and meaning (e.g. a stated project, etc).
  • Organize a storytelling project where you ask current clients and alumni to talk about how your organization made a difference in their life. Capture these stories either via digital audio or digital video and upload it to a special place on your organization’s website. Don’t know where to get started? No problem … click here and check-out NPR’s “StoryCorps” project for inspiration.
  • Create a training for volunteer solicitors that is designed to help them understand that asking for a charitable contribution is the “art of happiness” and an act of helping people’s vision for the world around them come true.

OK … I’ve got the ball rolling with a few simple ideas. Now it is your turn! What are you planning to do to make this week’s blog series actionable so that your organization can become more donor-centered? Please use the comment box below to share your ideas because we can all learn from each other.

Here is to your health!

Erik Anderson
Owner, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on August 12, 2011, in Fundraising, resource development and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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