Philanthropy means voluntary action for the common good. Fund development is the essential partner of philanthropy. Fund development makes philanthropy possible by bringing together a particular cause and the prospects and donors who are willing to invest in the cause. The goal is to acquire donors of time and money who stay with the charity. This is done through the process of relationship building. With the donor at the center, fund development nurtures loyalty and lifetime value, thus facilitating philanthropy. You know if your relationship building works because your retention rates rise and the lifetime value of your donors and volunteers increases
The Guide to Better Communications and Stronger Relationships.
So what does this mean in practical terms? Here are some basics:
1. First understand some basic distinctions:
An individual, business, or some other entity whose interests and actions suggest a possible inclination or susceptibility towards your organization’s cause / mission. (“Suspect” is more common terminology. But who wants to hear anyone referred to in such a pejorative manner?)
An individual, businesses, or some other entity that has demonstrated an interest in your cause /organization. The individual has raised his / her hand by buying your services or asking to join the mailing list or… In some manner, in some way, the individual, business or entity has raised its hand signaling interest in your cause and your organization.
An individual, business, or some other entity that has given a gift of time or money or service to your organization
2. Nurture a culture of philanthropy in your organization. It’s the right attitude that matters as much as anything. Culture refers to the personality / attitude of your organization. A culture of philanthropy means that everyone accepts and celebrates the beauty of philanthropy and donors, no matter the type or size of gift.
3. Build a donor-centered organization. Focus on the donor or prospective donor. “It’s not what your organization is selling, it’s what I’m buying that counts. I’m interested in my interests, my motivations and my aspirations.
Match those and then I’ll give to you. Otherwise, leave me alone!”
Don’t universalize your own passion. Not everyone is interested in your cause, no matter how convincing you are. Do not try to convince them! That’s offensive. Instead, find those who share your passion.
4. Giving is an emotional act, not a financial transaction. Your organization is the means by which donors live out their own interests and aspirations.
a. Neuroscience and psychological research document that all human decisions are triggered emotions
Then rationale steps in. “Emotion is multi-dimensional: it focuses on a person’s core goals, directs attention and interest, arouses the body for action, and integrates social group and cultural factors. It is thus a central component of meaning making.”
b. Research from the direct mail industry says that people give in response to one or more of 7 emotions: greed, guilt, anger, fear, flattery, exclusivity, and salvation.
People move from one emotion –e.g., anger – to hope, by using your agency as the means to make change. Refers to this partnering of emotions as “twin sets”