November 22, 2009

Customer-centered is old news. Everyone pretty much buys into that concept. But not so with donor-centrism.

“Donor-centric” is another way of saying “building trust.” A donor’s relationship with your organization deepens or frays most based on how much trust you can create in three areas: trust that donors play an essential, vital, central role in your mission’s success; trust that your organization does worthwhile things with donor gifts; trust that your organization conducts its operations efficiently and effectively.

Sadly, too many organizations focus on their own needs and why their good work requires donations. The donor gets lost.

Put the donor at the center! Read Adrian Sargeant’s research about what donor-centered means. See his book Building Donor Loyalty. Read Keep Your Donors: The Guide to Better Communications and Stronger Relationships. Keep this book by your side, as a ready reference.

Test your donor-centricity by using the Donor-Centric Pledge by Ahern and Joyaux. Where are you successful? What needs improvement? How will you engage your staff colleagues and board members in this conversation?

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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