Donors expect more so let’s commit to doing our job better.

people together

The maelstrom of economic changes, fractured trust within the political systems of government, religious organizations and nonprofits has led our donors to expect more.  Gone are the days of simply asking and people responding directly and without question.  The current times have changed the way our donors think and act.  They now demand to know the impact that their gift will make upon your organization.  They also want to be shown how this will work and once received, that their gift has indeed done what you said it will do.  The call for great accountability and transparency should not be viewed by nonprofits as bad.  This is an opportunity for nonprofit organizations to become better at making a case, telling their story and connecting with the donor.  This change in society challenges the nonprofit organization to become better at donor identification, cultivation, engagement and solicitation.  For many nonprofits this change seems a bit overwhelming.  Change is often difficult, but increased scrutiny and accountability have become the ” new normal” for nonprofits.  So instead of fighting these changes or pining for the good old days, lets embrace these demands and become better at what we do.  The trick in implementing systemic changes is to begin in some area and focus on executing a strategic change.  As an example, perhaps you want to focus on enhancing your stewardship program as a place to start.  How might you improve the experience for the donor once a gift is received?  Can you communicate the results of the gift in a tangible way to donors?  Can you use the gift as an opportunity for donor engagement?  Can you connect a gift, with an impact story, with the larger story of how a larger campaign had a transformational affect on your organization that was made possible because of many individuals single gifts?  Pick an area to improve and see that program through.  Then begin on another program to improve and so on.  Times have changed and nonprofit organizations need to embrace these changes.  Be committing to building programs that take into consideration the needs of our donors, we build for success and we build for the long-term.  Both these elements ensure that we can continue to do our good work well into the future.

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