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Inside your donor’s head

Today, we’re going to take a little trip into your donor’s head.

Why, you ask?

Because as uniquely crucial as your organization is, to your donors… it’s just another uniquely crucial organization. One of many they support every year.

You can’t fully control how much attention your donors give to you over others. But you can shift things in your favor by remembering one critical fact.

(Hint: You figured this out yourself (probably the hard way) a couple weeks into marriage.)

In a relationship, communication is everything.

Yes, your wife needs to hear a bit more about your day than “Fine.”

Yes, she needs you to spell out exactly why you think she’s wonderful.

No, it doesn’t matter that you complimented her on every single dinner she made for the last thirteen years. If you skip tonight, you’re suddenly domeh l’mi shelo uttered a single compliment l’olam.

Donors are pretty similar to spouses in this regard. So you want to make absolutely sure you’re communicating properly with them.

That’s why we’re about to take a stroll through your top donor’s prefrontal cortex. As we walk, make sure to keep your eyes peeled. We’re searching for this donor’s top-10 list of communication needs – the list we can use to keep all our donor relationships in tip-top shape.

Ah, here it is. Ready for a look? You’ll want to rate yourself from 1-5 as to how well you’re communicating each of these ten points:

How Well Does (your name here), Leader of (your) Organization…

  1. Communicate passion for their vision? A burning desire to right a wrong?
  2. Share stories of people they help in a way that really touches me? Or makes me feel like a hero? Or proud of supporting their work?
  3. Tell stories at all? Especially stories I feel I’m bursting to share with others. (What was that last one they told me?)
  4. Make me feel like I’m really making a difference? Give me a “firsthand” taste of the differences my gift is making?
  5. Genuinely show appreciation for my support? (How often do I hear thanks from them?)
  6. Show me powerful pictures and videos that make me feel proud that I backed a winner?
  7. Understand my communication preferences? (If they’ve even bothered to ask)
  8. Ask for my advice, making me feel like they find my life experience valuable?
  9. Keep me feeling special and valued even during tighter times when my giving drops?

That’s the master list, folks. Straight from your donors’ minds.

How well did you score?

If you got 4-5/5 on 9 of 10… WOW. Just wow.

If (like most normal, busy nonprofit leaders) you scored significantly lower than that, here’s your plan going forward:

  1. Choose three items on this list 
  2. Create a concrete plan for how you’re going to start scoring at least a 4 on those three items 
  3. Watch your donor relationships blossom as you become a real standout in donors’ minds

Relationships are relationships. If it would enrich your marriage, chances are it would enrich your donor relationships as well.

And, of course, your fundraising budget!

Have a great fundraising week, 


Copyright © 2024 Avraham Lewis & Co.