Episode 20: What Do Donors Really Want?

July 11, 2019

by: Sheela Nimishakavi, MA, MPH

Today I’m sharing literal gold with you. That’s right- gold!

I’m answering the most important question that fundraisers can ask. What do donors really want?

Here’s the thing, it’s so easy to get caught up in the million and one things we need to do in a day and fail to adhere to regular touch points with donors. I’ve definitely been guilty of this.

When we don’t have an ‘ask’ touch points can seem kind of amorphous and low on the priority list.

But, the turning point in my fundraising career came when I began to understand why touch points with my donors were so important AND how they help give donors what they want.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • [5:13] Do donors really care if I wrote a note on their appeal letter- will they actually give more?
  • [6:03] The terms cultivation and stewardship mask the importance of what you’re doing when you build a relationship with a donor.
  • [8:28] There are three feelings that we need to cultivate in our donors
  • [11:12] The terms cultivation and stewardship can imply a linear relationship between our actions and results but we know that’s not the case
  • [12:12] The reason social media is so powerful in donor engagement
  • [15:11] With a clear understanding of our “why” we can begin to see the merit behind seemingly mundane tasks

Resources mentioned in this episode:
Episode 6: Fundraising Mini Series Pt. 1
Donor Road Map- Eliminate the overwhelm of stewarding donors with our donor road map
Yale Study: The counter-intuitive effects of thank-you gifts on charitable giving


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