• Hannah Gregory

    I invite you to take a look at a great example of a new campaign Shoestring Creative Group has created for Salesian Missions, that puts their donors front and center.
    View the TV ad here: http://www.youtube.com/FindYourMission
    See the campaign website:
    http://www.findyourmission.org

  • Bob Untiedt

    Is it good to be accountable?
    Absolutely.
    Is is good to be engaging with all stakeholders of a nonprofit.
    No doubt.

    But there are well-documented stories of major donors seeking to control nonprofit programs – and thereby, affecting their mission delivery. It’s more effective to focus on donor needs as a way to obtain more funds. Is it **universally** better for a nonprofit mission? I doubt it.

    If nonprofits spend increasing amounts of time cultivating donors, measuring impact, personalizing messages, and improving “customer service” to donors, there is risk involved. That risk is to mission delivery. I’m not opposing stronger relationships between nonprofits and donors. I’m only pointing out that, in a society as individualistic as ours, ‘serving the consumer’ is not without peril. Nonprofits exist to serve a mission – and THAT should be a focus in donor relationships, too, not just the “needs of the donor”. Some donors need to remember that it’s not about THEM.

  • Simone Joyaux

    Bob Untiedt is correct that effective nonprofits stick to their missions. But being donor-centered and mission-centered are NOT in conflict.

    Operating as a donor-centered organization is done within the context of your organization’s mission and your organization’s needs. You don’t accept a gift that doesn’t meet your mission and your priorities. You don’t compromise your values to thank a donor.

    But you do spend increasing amounts of time cultivating donors, personalizing messages, strengthening your customer service, and measuring impact. That is NO RISK to mission delivery.

    Read Adrian Sargeant’s research, described in Building Donor Loyalty. All of it is common sense and proper etiquette. And it’s shameful that so few organizations behave accordingly.

    Read all of Tom Ahern’s books and newsletters about donor communications. All of it follows good journalism and research. And it’s shameful that so few organizations behave accordingly.

    Read Keep Your Donors: The Guide to Better Communications and Stronger Relationships. There, Ahern and I provide details about being donor-centered, cite research, and give examples.

    Learn more about donor-centered performance and you

  • Nikki

    With everyone fighting for our few dollars, I believe it is absolutely important to be honest, transparent, and a good steward of donor dollars. I don’t believe that nonprofit organizations do a great job of instilling trust. Often times little thought is put into how to share with us the day-to-day activities of an organization and more effort is made into telling us a story and how to get our dollars. If I know the ED and Board are good stewards of my money, I have no problem giving and supporting the mission.

    I do take great offense when I have to search for information that should be public information anyway.:sad: