Take a Deep Breath
The summer slump — distractions, boredom, fleeting thoughts of a new job, donor inattention — is in full effect, isn’t it? Some are lucky enough to be reading this month’s column while lounging in the backyard or at the beach. Others are grinding away at the office worrying about meeting their revenue budget this month.
So, here are some thoughts to ponder as you meander through your summer.
Remember what you’re doing with the work side of your life. Every fundraiser is engaged in work that really matters, work that’s bringing joy, practical solutions and hope to the countless people our organizations exist to serve.
Whether you’re raising funds for an arts organization, a school or a medical center, an international humanitarian group or environmental cause, you’re doing something significant. Your work is making the world a better place.
I was listening to a client as she described the practical results of a recent direct-mail fundraising campaign. She was glowing as she rattled off a set of figures — number of people helped, number of bags of groceries provided, etc. She understood the relationship between her fundraising efforts and the end results.
But as fundraisers, we’re doing more than serving the needs of the people being helped by our organizations. We’re helping our donors unlock the grace of giving; that’s a satisfying endeavor because it helps round out our perspective of our work.
Far too many of us tend to see our work as an intrusion into our donors’ lives. How very wrong.
Believe it or not, donors want to be engaged. They want to know what’s happening with you and how they can help. Your donors are looking for opportunities to invest to make a difference. Honor them by keeping them informed through appeal packages, newsletters, gift acknowledgments that affirm and encourage further giving, and special reports.