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A Radical New Way to Approach Fundraising
on January 10, 2007
When my boss plunked this book down on my desk, I initially groaned. As a writer and editor with a non-profit ministry, the last thing I enjoy reading are books about fund-raising, marketing, etc. I detest them all because a) they read like IKEA instructions and b) their sole goal is supposedly new and creative ways to reach inside people's wallets. I have no taste or desire for that.
But I have to say that Donor-Centered-Fundraising is a delightful change from the norm in marketing and fundraising. The title should have tipped me off. Penelope's heart-centered program for raising money goes beyond bullet-points, used-car salesman, and expense accounts. Her advice is simple, yet profound: we have to respect donors. Treat donors as if they are a valuable comodity and look at a person's donation as the beginning of a lifelong relationship. A prominent leader in our industry once said, "You're not fund-raising, you're friend-raising." How true is that?
A book like this makes me feel good about what we're doing and makes me think deeply every time I pen a thank-you letter, a direct-mail piece, or talk, face-to-face, with a donor. They are not ATM's, but real people with real needs and wishes.
Implemnting a donor-centric strategy, however, requires s sea-change in your organization. Penelope has wide experience and shares helpful tips and anecdotes that can help you make the case to the people in your organization.
Perhaps the most important feature of her book are the studies that back up her claims, studies of nonprofits and interviews with actual donors.
The strategy of caring and loving your donors can not only bring tangible results but will bring both nonprofit and donor closer together in a united mission.