Get it? “Donnent” (pronounced /Donn/) is French for “Give”
Yeah, we also thought that topic was a bit corny. It is a very important topic though as donors are
increasingly more interested in the causes that they are funding. Organizations can harness this trend in the development of their fundraising strategy to be more efficient in targeting the right donors for
specific causes and for the overall revenue generation. What does this mean? It is probably easier to
raise funds for poverty alleviation in a remote village in Kansas from someone whose life journey started
in poverty in a remote village in Kansas. Makes sense, right? Donors are not just a source for revenue
generation, they are people on a journey – life’s journey. Donors are shaped by their experiences and
are looking to connect with people of similar experiences and sometimes they do so through their
Here are some ways to connect with your donors and their stories:
Be genuinely interested in your donors
It should go without saying that genuine interest in the life stories of your donors is more sustainable than feigned interest. You cannot connect with something you do not know, and you cannot know about something you are not interested in.
Learn from their experiences
It takes money to execute an idea; however, without a good idea, there is no need for money. Who better to source great ideas from than those who have lived and conquered the causes they now seek to fund? Don’t be afraid to ask your donors for advice, to share their stories and not just their monies.
Tell a story in your fundraising campaign that highlights your “Why?”
Give life to your causes, give them a face and make them relatable to your donors. A cookie-cutter approach to fundraising doesn’t cut it. Stories to tell include the reasons for existence of the organization, the journeys of the beneficiaries and donors of the organization, and future ideas to be explored by the organization. Basically, share all kinds of stories: stories from the past, stories of the present, and stories for the future. For a guide on how to tell stories as a non-profit, check out Classy’s post on the subject.
Keep your donors in the loop
Accountability is a must-have in the non-profit / charity industry. More specifically, accountability to donors to reassure them that their money did not end up in the pockets of a frontline employee or senior executive. Accountability assuages this concern and provides some level of closure or maybe a cliff-hanger, depending on what you are going for.