ProSpeak: It's Time for a Two-way Street
Simply put, charities need to change the way they think. In the past, it always has been cause first. After all, the cause is what the charity is there for, isn’t it? But that kind of one-way-street thinking now leads to a dead end.
Today, in order to thrive, charities need to think about what would help the donor first. This requires a new mindset, a new skill set and new tools. It also will take an investment of time and money to retrain the way charitable executives and their teams communicate and structure operations. Charities that heed the need for change will thrive. Those that don’t will become merely another casualty of this economic downturn.
In this new reality, developing innovative giving strategies becomes essential. Yet, these types of complex financial scenarios are left untapped by 98 percent of charitable fundraisers. This oversight is taking billions off the table.
So here’s the wakeup call: The old ways of fundraising aren’t enough anymore. And this was true even before the economy fell off a cliff.
Fundraisers today need to find new and effective ways of communicating with donors (and potential donors). Our time-stretched, information-overloaded world screams for simplicity and clear language. Donors rarely get either.
Charitable staffs can explain their cause but don’t always speak with enough passion or immediacy. And donors’ accountants and attorneys might understand some details of charitable gifting but don’t explain them clearly. Without the passion, the details are irrelevant. Without the details, the passion is wasted.
In order to create a two-way street for donors and charities, fundraisers must improve the process. If a favorite charity could show a donor a scenario that would dramatically improve her family situation, wouldn’t the odds of donors participating go up? Of course! And if the donor understood that employing this scenario also would benefit the charity, participation would be assured. So what’s missing? Understanding. This is where an advisor can come in — but the organization/advisor relationship isn't always an easy one.