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Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last, Third Edition by Simone P. Joyaux

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What Donors Want

Now let’s focus specifically on donors. Remember, your organization is the means to achieve the donor’s end. Here are some key things to think about. Do all donors want all this all the time? Of course not. But those who do—are they still waiting for you to catch up?

To Be Heard

Giving is a way of being heard. Giving amplifies and empowers voices.

Giving is an act of civic engagement, a public statement of interest and commitment. Giving should be a democratizing act in our society.

Giving tells you, the organization, what’s important to me, the donor. Are you listening? What stories do your donors tell about themselves? What emotions do you hear? What feelings do you understand?

To Tell Their Stories

Sure, this sounds like “being heard.” But there’s another angle: Donors may actually want to tell their philanthropic stories. Yet so few donors are ever asked.

Do you collect donor stories? Do you interview donors and retell their stories in your newsletters, in your annual reports, on your website, and at your fundraising events and cultivation gatherings?

I expect you to collect donor stories. I expect you to retell your donors’ stories. The retelling validates donor voices, acknowledges their investment, and honors their commitment. And I suspect your donors expect you to do this, too—even if they’re not conscious of this expectation.

And here’s a final thought: Lots of donors want a conversation with you. Do you engage your donors in conversation?

To Realize ...

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