“If you expect me to take action I’ve never taken before, it seems to me that you need to do something that hasn’t been done before. It might not feel safe, but if you do the safe thing, I guarantee you won’t surprise anyone. And if you don’t surprise anyone, the word isn’t going to spread.”
— Feb. 24: “I’m Not Surprised,” Seth’s Blog (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog)
“Nonprofits do not exist to serve donors; they exist to serve a cause. The new donors need to understand that nonprofits will almost always know more about what is best for the cause than the donor does. So cut them some slack and don’t tell them to change until you’ve really done your homework.”
— March 3: “Nonprofits vs. For-profits,” Tactical Philanthropy (www.tacticalphilanthropy.com)
“Donors wish nonprofits knew their name. It just doesn’t feel right when someone gets your name wrong, does it? Donors wish nonprofits knew they gave. Duh. Yet far too many nonprofits fail to acknowledge gifts. That tells the donor either her gift didn’t matter, or that you’re sloppy (which, if you’re not receipting, you are).
Donors wish nonprofits knew they’re capable of making smart decisions. They get choices in other areas of their lives; they should get it in their giving. Let them designate, undesignate, partially designate, choose programs, choose communication channels and schedules. Donors know what works for them. They’ll reward you when you respect that.
Donors wish nonprofits knew what they really care about. They tell us what matters to them by what they give to. You need to keep the topics they respond to in front of them.
Donors wish nonprofits knew what they don’t care about. It’s smart to offer donors the opportunity to become more deeply involved with what you do. It’s stupid to insist that they do so.