Leadership Series: Is Change an Uphill Battle?
Trend 3: Deepening
Savvy nonprofit marketers will respond to the trends taking donors away from charities with an effort to personalize their organization to donors. Through CRM, charities can launch an intentional effort to grow a donor from one who simply writes a check to a supporter who gives of his or her time, talent, treasure and influence. The key here is to view the gift and the donor as a relationship rather than a transaction.
At World Vision, we have embarked on a strategic effort to excite donors to engage with the poor. For some, that means simply sending a “birthday bounce back” card to their sponsored child; for others, especially major donors, deepening translates into traveling overseas to meet our project staff and beneficiaries personally, or participating in conferences with experts to meet other current and potential donors. Our overriding donor-management theme of “supporter transformation” is founded on an uncompromising commitment to changing the hearts of our donors. Some of World Vision’s tenets under-girding our efforts to transform supporters include:
- communicating clearly;
- being accurate, complete, current and relevant in all communications;
- conveying realistic expectations of how a donation will be used;
- honoring supporters’ contact preferences and restrictions;
- ensuring all donor promises are fulfilled; and
- seeking opportunities to educate donors on issues of injustice.
Those donors who are assembling kits, starting banks and digging wells want hands-on engagement with “their” projects. They want to step into the shoes of the beneficiaries and bring them hope.
To make this point to our staff, we changed our name from “Marketing” to “Donor Engagement” and from “Development” to “Advancement.” We’re a bridge between the donor and the beneficiary.
Our job is straightforward: to excite donors to engage with the poor and, in the process, to change their hearts and their way of life.