Bullfeathers! Donors are Donors!

Posted on October 26, 2009. Filed under: Customer Service, Fundraising, Leadership, Non-profits |

Bullfeathers – Donors are Donors

Fundraising for non-profits is hard enough, without non-profit professionals trying to make it harder. “Bullfeathers” to quote Teddy Roosevelt is my reaction to the post about givers not having “earned the right” to be called “donors” in the Donor Power Blog.

The blog that used to written by Jeff Brooks, DonorPowerBlog, is now written by Greg Fox who managed to insult millions of Americans in new position as the Donor Power blogger with his self proclaimed mission to use the term “donors” only for people who give ten percent or more of their family income to non-profits. This post is actually one of the more insulting blog posts I have ever read, and given that I read a fair number of blog posts, this was not an easy accomplishment.

What an asinine (or in plain English, utterly foolish) idea. It’s tough enough to find and keep donors; Mr. Fox now wants you to insult them as part of the process of them giving your organization their money, instead of thanking them for being a donor. Unless you have given more than 10% of your income to a charity (or maybe just a few), or have contributed money for more than 3 years, (2 years, 11 months apparently doesn’t count), you’re not a “donor” – yet. To Mr. King, the term donor is a reserved term, only for the truly honorable. I guess maybe “schmuck” is what he wants you to call until you reach “donor” status by his criteria. He never says what the term is for someone who gives money to your non-profit, but not at a sufficient level to be called a “donor.”

To me this is the antithesis of what community building and fundraising is all about. Regardless of the amount, you thank the donor for their contribution to your non-profit, and you do things to help them want to continue an association with your non-profit for multiple years. Insulting them as the first communication doesn’t strike me as the smartest tactic. “Thanks for sending us your money, if you send more, maybe we will be able to call you a donor, and by the way is this 10% of your income or not?

I understand and get the principle of the fundraising pyramid, but the point is that all givers are donors, and it’s fine to have leadership levels, which certainly many non-profits use to bring more attention to higher value donors, but what a waste of brain power and energy to try and convince the non-profit world not to call donors, donors.

Bill Huddleston


Thanks to Franklin for the heads-up.

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2 Responses to “Bullfeathers! Donors are Donors!”

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>>>Jeff Merkle, DonorPowerBlog

Jeff Brooks, not Jeff Merkle. His new blog is Future Fundraising Now at http://www.futurefundraisingnow.com.

Thanks for the heads-up, obviously hit the “post” button too soon. I’ve updated the text of the original post as well.

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