Who Owns Your NonProfit?
"The donors," said the CEO confidently. "The donors own it."
"Then why do we act like we own it?" I asked.
And then we jumped into the most interesting and helpful part of the discussion, making some very good points like:
- What does it really mean to be donor centered? What implications are there for program, finance, operations, fundraising, marketing etc.?
- Could we do a better job of responding to donors when they ask questions or express concerns?
- Why wouldn't we let donors sit at the decision-making table of the nonprofit?
- Is there a more representative way to govern a nonprofit that gives donors a stronger say in how it operates?
- What areas of the organization would be impacted more if donors were involved in decision making?
- Why don't we fundamentally trust or value a donor's view or opinion about how we operate?
We did a lot of soul searching. And it was good.
Here is how this applies to you and major-gifts work. You may not be able to substantially change the course or leadership culture of the organization you work for. But you can change the style, tone and content of your relationship to your caseload donors.
And that is where it would be good to start treating each donor as a shareholder of the organization, not just a source of money.
If you’re hanging with Richard it won’t be long before you’ll be laughing.
He always finds something funny in everything. But when the conversation is about people, their money and giving, you’ll find a deeply caring counselor who helps donors fulfill their passions and interests. Richard believes that successful major-gift fundraising is not fundamentally about securing revenue for good causes. Instead it is about helping donors express who they are through their giving. The Connections blog will provide practical information on how to do this successfully. Richard has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience, and is founding partner of the Veritus Group.