Attitudinally, donors are so different than most non-profit leaders that it’s hard to see they are actually the same species.

No one captures the hard realities of this better than my favorite fundraising blogger and copy guru, Jeff Brooks. His are the posts our clients fantasize about printing out and nailing to the CEO’s door (back in the in-person days of course).

At the risk of hearing from Jeff’s lawyers, I am reproducing today’s JB post in full. I am sure there are a slew of colleagues in your organization who need to read this. He also blogs about the things donors NEVER care about, like anniversaries and strategic plans, but that’s for another day.

And now please go subscribe to his blog.

5 things donors wish you knew about them

  1. Donors wish you knew their name. Spelled the way they spell it. Sure, they’re forgiving about mistakes. But a messed-up name is a jangly reminder that you don’t know them.
  2. Donors wish you knew they are human beings. a lot of fundraising is based on this formula: Give donors X information and they will respond with X donations. That doesn’t work in any other area of human relationships, and it doesn’t work in fundraising. Connect with people by the heart, giving them the opportunity to do something they care about.
  3. Donors wish you knew what they really care about. They are interested in how they can make a difference. Not how amazing your organization is.
  4. Donors wish you knew they don’t need to be “improved” by you. Most of your donors know less about your cause and your programs than you do. And that’s okay. It’s not your business to educate and improve donors. It’s your business to build relationships with them.
  5. Donors wish nonprofits knew they love to give. It’s a common working assumption that donors hate hearing from you and are slightly injured every time you ask. That’s non-donors. Donors love to give. Don’t be afraid to ask them.