Last month I had the privilege of attending a conference of Christian College and University fundraising professionals in Tucson, Arizona. I’ll admit, I enjoyed the golf. Even better, though, was the wisdom of our three speakers: Don Meyer, Jim Langley, and Bob Burdenski.
Jim and Bob are expert fundraisers. They have an acute sense of where philanthropy is headed. I picked up many fundraising tools from them. Don struck at my heart. Don is a donor and a board member for a few large non-profits. In the fundraising world we would call him a Major Donor. He owns a large company and thus has the opportunity to hear from many of us fundraisers about all of our organizations great projects and why he should give.
His topic at the conference was “What Your Donors Expect From You.” I jotted down three main points:
1. Pray For Your Donors:
Ouch! I pray with my donors when they express a need. But do I pray for them on a regular basis? No. I am now trying to pray for 5 of my donors every day. Sometime I let them know I prayed for them, most of the time I don’t. Praying for donors is not only the right thing to do, it helps me gain a proper perspective of my work.
2. Give Sacrificially:
If you sell insurance, you should be passionate enough about insurance to get some yourself.
If you own a restaurant, I hope you like the food.
If you work at a church or a non-profit organization, you should give sacrificailly to that charity.
It bothers me (and I believe it bothers God too) when people say, “I give here by working here. I could have worked somewhere else and made a lot more money.”
The Bible says in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If you want to be truly passionate about your cause, start by giving.
3. Communicate Regularly To Your Donors:
I found this one particularly interesting. Sometime I don’t want to “bother” donors. According to Don, they want, in fact expect, to know how their investments are being used. His recommendation is to communicate with your top donors 1-2 times a month. This isn’t finding out about their latest travels or how their kids are doing. It’s communicating about the impact of their gifts.
I am trying to focus on these 3 things as a way to honor and respect the donors I work with.
Questions: What do you expect from the organizations you give to?