Have you thought recently about what it actually means to truly be donor centred? I know we all talk about it a lot. If you throw the words 'donor centred' into a job interview people will really think you know what you are doing. I think the term 'donor centred' has become jargon.
What does 'donor centred' really mean?
As I was thinking about my next presentation to our board of directors I tweeted this question to my fundraising colleagues. Just look at the response (In reverse order of how they were received AND a cool example of why I love twitter so MUCH!):
@markyphillips We use donor 'needs', placing them at the centre of why, when and how we communicate.
@jonathongrapsas we prefer to use 'donor care'. Which is about asking, thanking, feeding back and caring. Then doing it again and again and...
@GabryelB it means getting your eyes off your organisations bellybutton and taking the view of the donors: his needs, wants, desires.
@FLA_Leah donor-centred fundraising equals heart and soul fundraising
@derekhumphries actually don't think you should put donors needs ahead of org needs, especially if one has human beneficiaries.
@derekhumphries be courteous. Be kind. Listen. Offer more than you ask. Leave donors in no doubt how magnificent they are and can be.
@Gl0ria Donor centered. Co-investors in making the vision a reality.
@jennifermchase Donor centred is serving the donor in a way that puts their needs/wants first (as opposed to the wants of the org).
@agentsofgood -it means putting the donors needs, wants, everything before yours as an organization.
And I think my favourite:
@FRSuccess Donor centered: Treating donors as partners in your mission rather than walking ATMs?
So now I'm thinking...what is it that donors need?
As a donor I know I need to be able to read the material and know that my money is making a difference.
What do you need as a donor? (Because presumably if you are a fundraiser reading this blog you are a donor too right?!)
When you are finished commenting here on your needs as a donor. Check out this great post from Mark Phillips at Blue Frog on what donors need.
Thank you for spending time here.