Think about the last time you secured a really major gift, or completed an especially productive direct mail or email campaign.

When you left the meeting or put the phone down or read the response data, what was your dominant feeling?

Satisfaction at materially advancing your nonprofit’s mission?

A warm glow from helping the donor(s) achieve their goals?

Pride in your own fundraising prowess?

Each of these is legitimate to celebrate.

Each of them — to one extent or another — presumably helps keep you going.

But which would you say is most important?

I’m moved to ask this by an email sent to The Agitator by thirty-year fundraising veteran Penny Harris.

She wrote:

“The decision to give a financial gift has nothing to do with money … Money is the means to serve the mission. The mission is at the heart of a donor’s decision to give, not the money. Money brings pleasure and makes fundraisers happy because it has been given as the sole purpose of their work.”

Penny believes it’s definitely not about the money for the donor … and shouldn’t be for the fundraiser either. For both, it’s about giving meaning in one’s life.

Don’t you agree?


This article was posted in: Donor Centricity, Donor retention / loyalty / commitment, Fundraising philosophy/profession.
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