Calling All Agents of Change
3. Long-term accomplishments must be valued as highly as short-term gains. This is tough for many organizations because meeting revenue goals this year — or this month — is often the most compelling focus. But long-term financial growth will happen only if all key players learn how to balance these competing pressures.
Top leadership must demand balance, or it won’t happen. Short-term pressures always will prevail unless the CEO and senior management understand the importance of long-term donor-behavior trends, new-donor acquisition needs and the creation of net present value — the key building blocks of financial growth.
4. Donors deserve more respect, more control over organizations and more opportunities for participation. We know donors are changing as more and more baby boomers enter their prime giving years, so why haven’t we changed to accommodate them?
A participant in the Tucson dialog said it well when she observed that “the doctor-patient relationship has changed dramatically in recent years; we demand to know more about our doctor and our choices.”
Exactly. And the same people who’ve changed the doctor-patient relationship are changing the donor-organization relationship, too.
The most successful social-enterprise organizations of the future will be those that allow donors to lead. Those who empower their donors to accomplish their deepest desires. These organizations will flourish.
Timothy Burgess is co-founder and senior strategist at direct-response fundraising firm Merkle/Domain. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.