Right From the Headlines: Your Fundraising To-Do List
Early morning ... struggling to wake up ... half-listening to the news when something is reported that tells me my entire day is changed. Time to toss out the old to-do list and start over. Ever had that experience?
Yet some news we read or hear seems far removed from our jobs as fundraisers — but is that true? There are headlines that may not seem relevant, but they need to stir you to action so you can make sure your nonprofit avoids being the headline story next month or next year.
Some of these may seem to you like "not my business." But unfortunately, anything that potentially can impact fundraising has to be the business of fundraisers. You don't have to run it or repair it, but you have to understand it enough to give your donors assurances and to make certain it remains a priority for the organization. So what are these headlines?
First, fundraisers need to care about data security and data breeches. Oh, sure, you have really smart IT people who take care of this. But let's face it — your entire donor database can be downloaded to a flash drive that costs less than $10 and transported to who-knows-where. Credit card information is often stored in a file that is accessible to almost anyone. And the anonymous donor isn't really anonymous if too many people know the identity of that person.
As a fundraiser, you want to be able to intelligently and confidently explain to donors about how your organization protects donor information. You may be the only person he or she asks; it's doubtful most donors will call and speak to your IT manager or the vice president of operations or whoever it is that manages your data. So it's your job to know how data is protected and stay current with any changes so you are always ready to offer reassurance to an inquiring donor.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.