Philanthropy is…

PhilanthropyIsI’m reminded of a great piece of advice from Barbara G. Stowe as we met with the team and the President of Aga Khan University in Nairobi, February 2014:

Philanthropy is a sacred proposition based on trust and there are no shortcuts to trust.

This dovetails with my previous post. It is something that, as fundraisers, we just cannot forget as fundraisers.

We are connecting donors with the change they wish to see in the world. Their own dreams, come to fruition. Their legacies in every form.

Honor your donors and your interactions with them.

Transfer of Trust

When working with donors to identify prospective donors who may wish to support your charity, an important part of relationship building is what I call “transfer of trust.”trust_equals_reliability_plus_delight

Kivi Leroux Miller talks about it in her book The Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

“Few people wake up and decide out of the blue to support a particular charity. It’s much more likely that one of two scenarios will happen: the person will be referred to you by a trusted source, or the person will seek out an organization that can help her in some way.” 

The transfer of trust occurs when a donor makes an introduction of a friend, peer or business associate to your nonprofit and explicitly or implicitly says,

“I believe in this.”

“This is the charity where I choose to invest.”

“I trust this nonprofit with my gifts and dreams and it is one of my (or THE) philanthropic priorities.”

“I believe these people are doing amazing good works and I’m proud to be part of it.”

“I know they use all their resources wisely – money, people, expertise.”

“This charity exemplifies and fights for my values.”

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Refresh Yourself

Just a note to say that  I hope that you, my fellow fundraisers, are taking time to carve out some time for YOU.

Les trois femmes...

Les trois femmes…

If you are toward the extrovert side, that may mean spending time with friends and re-energizing.

If you are more toward the introvert side, that may mean carving out some time to decompress, particularly after events or other “people interactive” parts of your job.

However you refresh yourself, be sure to do it. A burned out or stressed out fundraiser is less likely to be able to always put the donors first and mind the smaller details.

Let’s Fall in #DonorLove

You hold the donor's heart and dreams in your hands - ensure they feel loved!

You hold the donor’s heart and dreams in your hands – ensure they feel loved!

February 12, 2014 has been declared the day of #DonorLove, thanks to @FundraisingYoda of Twitter fame.

I back this effort 100%!

You may know from previous posts, I’m a big fan of appreciation. (I’ve made it my 2014 Resolution and I’ve written about Giving Thanks.)

And I’m a big fan of sharing experiences and expertise in our profession – as fundraisers, we can help create a stronger culture of philanthropy wherever we are by sharing best practices and innovative practices.

So how I have I shown #DonorLove over my career? I’ll just list a few that come to mind. I believe that it is the little things that demonstrate attentiveness and care – your love for donors:

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Small but Mighty Acts

New graduands!

New graduands!

Yesterday I attended the Tanzania Convocation of the Aga Khan University in East Africa. It was small by most US or Canadian university graduation standards: 13 receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 24 receiving a Master of Education, two receiving a Master of Medicine in Family Medicine and one receiving his Doctorate in Education.

Small, but mighty.

Health and education are the two most important issues facing the countries of the East African Community (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda). There is a critical need for more nurses and midwives, especially in the rural areas (where there are a few clinics and no physicians), and a very great need to educate the youth in both rural and urban areas. The recent “education for all” initiative means more pupils are in classrooms, but there are not enough teachers and certainly few that have been trained to teach.

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