Cover Story: The Art and Science of Fundraising
It’s all part of the trend that seems to be taking hold in nonprofit organizations these days: donor as friend or, at the very least, as partner in furthering the mission.
Diabetes isn’t as much of a hot-topic disease as, say, AIDS or breast cancer, but people who have it or are close to someone who does know how debilitating it can be. And that can lead to donors who are passionate in their support. To support that passion, it pays to make donors feel like they’re a part of ADA’s work.
Bennett explains that ADA supporters “want to rid the world of diabetes.”
“People become so passionate when they see someone they love suffer,” she adds.
Today’s donors are savvy and well read, and they hold organizations accountable for the money they raise and for mission fulfillment. According to Brtva, responding to donors’ needs for information and a sense of accomplishment in return for their investment is key to fundraising success.
“Refining our stewardship efforts so that donors renew and increase their gifts continues to be utmost in our minds,” she says. “Our diabetes research funding already is by far the most responsive to donors and their interests. It’s keeping them informed and excited in a systematic way that shows them that they’ve make a solid investment in ADA.”
The changes at ADA have gone a long way toward building a solid program for the future — a future that those involved agree will continue to focus on aggressive, systematic relationship building based on even more widespread and sophisticated tracking of interactions and information, as well as heavy personalization.
“The future of development at ADA [lies in] knowing as much about our customer as possible,” DelGiorno says. “Once we’re armed with complete knowledge of our customers, it enables us to maximize the experience for the individual as well as ADA.”