Bundle of Love

One of the things I love to do is to send surprise packages to people…

IMG_3551If I see a little something, I’ll pick it up, find a suitable card, and in the mail it goes! (Here’s a little something I’ll be sending to Leah Eustace – if you know Leah, you know she loves shoes!)

The closest thing I can get to sending lots of people a little gift is this Donor Happiness Bundle that my pal Shanon Doolittle and I dreamt up ahead of Gratitude Camp (summer edition starts June 6!)

The grand prize winner receives:

  • registration to Gratitude Camp,
  • one of our fav books, Retention Fundraising, by Roger Craver,
  • one of my fav books, The Thank You Economy, by Gary Vaynerchuk, and
  • “A Year of Gratitude” by Compendium.

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The New Donor Pyramid

tweetLast month, one of the greats of fundraising died.

Tony Elischer was one of those amazing individuals, full of energy, drive, and smarts. I was fortunate enough to see him speak several times. The fundraising community really lost a great one when he died.

What resonated most for me was this donor pyramid, which he included in the program for his philanthropy extravaganza called “the Kaleidoscope of Philanthropy“.

I believe this is the most clear and true depiction of the Donor Pyramid.

It is about the donor and her engagement. It’s not about the size of the gift.

It’s about relationships.

And isn’t that how we should view supporters, not as the amalgamation of their transactions, but in the context of human relationships?

After all, fundraisers are in the business of creating connections, fostering affiliations, and strengthening relationships. Full stop.

When I speak to fundraisers about donors relationships, I often illustrate using the language of personal interactions. If we think more like this and less like categories (small donors, big donors), there may be fewer thoughtless nonprofit transactions and more authentic, lasting relationships.

Afterall, who sends a form letter of thanks to someone two weeks after a first date?

Let’s check out the pyramid.

Willingness, respect, trust. These are the foundations of many of our good relationships – even as customers. A donor may reach out with a first gift in willingness. Your team establishes trust by using the gift as they asked, but being respected members of the community, And those very first interactions build on what can come next. Are you making those initial interactions a delight? Is the language you use intriguing? Is it easy for your new friend to understand what you do and how she or he can be part of the cadre of heroes? And the relationship may just sit there if either side (your nonprofit or the donor) doesn’t move to the next level.
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All The Things You Wrote

Last year my grandma gave me a big envelope, the contents bulging. “What is it?” I looked in.IMG_3059

“It’s cards and letters,” she said. “I don’t want my kids having to clean things up,” she said in her no-nonsense way as I pulled out a card. They were written to her from me when I was a kid. I looked through it a bit when I got home, but feeling melancholy I put it in my box of mementos.

But last week I was tidying the shelf that had the box of old photos and keepsakes and this unmarked envelope rose to my attention.

There it was: everything I ever wrote to her. I sat on the floor and read every one. There were lots of thank you notes and chatty letters, postcards from travel, some get well cards, my birth and graduation announcements she had kept. I felt sentimental and happy she had saved them.

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DonorLoveRevolution – Guest Blog

Welcome guest blogger, Rebecca Farrell, reporting from Ontario!

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Let’s Create a #DonorLoveRevolution

Let me guess, you read #DonorLoveRevolution and wondered, “What is that? I want in!” So you continued reading! Great!

Now that I have you here, I have to tell you, that hashtag was made up by none other than Jen Langdon.

Not sure who Jen Langdon is? Well, you’re missing out. Not only is she the Resource Development Officer at United Way of Cambridge, she’s also a Humber Fundraising Management Grad, a Donor Lover, and a Lucky Duck (I swear every time I see her, she wins something).

Plus! She is one of the super cool, amazingly kind, and donor centered fundraisers coming to the #DonorLove Rendezvous in Toronto in May 2016.

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