June 28, 2009

I’m a donor to lots of organizations. My life partner and I give away at least 10% of our annual income to charitable organizations – and 100% of our estate goes to charity.

But not many organizations have asked me why. Darn few have really explored the feelings and interests behind my gifts.

What questions do you wish organizations would ask you as a donor? What questions do you ask your donors?

Here are just a few questions I wish organizations would ask me:

1. What interests you most about our organization? What is less interesting to you?

2. Why did you make your first gift to our organization? (Thanks, Richard Radcliffe, U.K. legacy consultant, for this one.)

3. If you had a personal mission statement or slogan, what would it say?

4. Would you share with me your life’s journey? (Thanks to Liz Hollander, former President and CEO of Campus Compact, for this one.) And Liz goes on to ask such questions as: Who have been the leaders and mentors in your life’s journey? Why and how have they affected you?

5. What would you like to pass on to the next generation – for your children, your nieces and nephews, the children of others?

6. How do you want to be remembered? (Thanks, Carol Golden, Executive Vice President and Senior Philanthropy Office at the Rhode Island Foundation.)

What are you prepared to ask your donors? What are you prepared to be asked yourself?

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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