Thursday Nov 11, 2021

Can fundraising learn how to put the relationship ahead of the gift?

If you’re the shop that is all about rushing your donors into year-end gifts for the mere purpose of achieving some arbitrary goal, you need to listen to today’s conversation on The Fundraising Talent Podcast. Today’s conversation with Alex begs the question of how to genuinely put the relationship ahead of the gift and how, in doing so, does the organization sets expectations for what is raised from year to year. Alex sees the donor experience as being like a journey that, from our vantage point, isn’t especially easy to predict. Rather than always interfering, today’s conversation offers a case for why we should create cultures where we can receive gifts when the donor is ready to take the next step in their journey.

Today’s conversation reminded me that the most meaningful gifts will rarely align perfectly with our schedule. Despite the wizard’s insistence to the contrary, renewal rates are not the ultimate measure of fundraising effectiveness. Our eagerness to close gifts on our schedule is simply interfering with the donor’s journey which ultimately interferes with the long-term sustainability of their support. Study after study into why donors stop giving have always revealed this truth. Give yourself and your donors some breathing room this holiday season. They know you’re there.

As always, we are especially grateful to our friends at CueBack for sponsoring The Fundraising Talent Podcast. And, if you’d like to download Responsive’s latest edition of Carefully & Critically, just click here.

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