A new article in the Nonprofit Quarterly by Simone Joyaux (See-MUN Zha-WHY-oh) adds another element to the discussion as she asks, “Are You So Vain?” Is your organization thinking about (and acting like) fundraising is all about you, instead of being all about the donor? She offers an assessment tool to look at your practices and attitudes, and a pledge to commit to, that will help your organization lose its vanity and gain donor loyalty.
Below are the first ten of 23 pledge items. You can find the complete list on her website. PDF
The Donor-Centric Pledge
We, [fill in the name of your nonprofit organization here], believe…
- That donors are essential to the success of our mission.
- That gifts are not “cash transactions.” Donors are not merely a bunch of interchangeable, easily replaceable credit cards, checkbooks and wallets.
- That no one “owes” us a gift just because our mission is worthy.
- That any person who chooses to become our donor has enormous potential to assist the mission.
- That having a program for developing a relationship with that donor is how organizations tap that enormous potential.
- That we waste that potential when donors are not promptly thanked.
- That “lifetime value of a donor” is the best (though often overlooked) way to evaluate “return on investment” in fundraising.
- That donors are more important than donations. Those who currently make small gifts are just as interesting to us as those who currently make large gifts.
- That acquiring first-time donors is easy but keeping those donors is hard.
- That many first-time gifts are no more than “impulse purchases” or “first dates.”
I recommend having several people in your organization take the assessment to see where your organization stands. Then, take the pledge and work the pledge over the coming months to see what a difference new actions and attitudes can make in your donor/nonprofit relationships and fundraising. http://simonejoyaux.com/ss_files/downloads/DonorCentricPledge.pdf.
Simone Joyaux: The Donor-Centric Pledge