January 7, 2012

I don’t believe charities compete for donations. People have their own interests – and pay attention to those interests.

Most of the solicitations I receive (and you and your donors, too, I suspect) are of no interest to me. So those organizations are not competing for my money. And when I get solicitations from multiple causes that interest me, I decide how much to give to which one.

Competition also suggests that there is limited money available for charity. The truth is, more people give more money each year. (And if we could increase the % of household income that each of us gives, we would raise even more money.)

And competition is an easy excuse to use when organizations have trouble raising money. Instead of complaining about competition, try doing a better job of fund development.

Remember, fund development starts with identifying the predisposed and qualifying them as prospects – or leaving them alone. Fund development requires relationship building (donor-centered communications and extraordinary experiences). Then we solicit. And then we continue relationship building. Learn lots about this in the Free Download Library on this website. Click on Resources and see the pulldown menu.

I talk about congestion. Yes, it’s a very congested marketplace. Lots of solicitations and crowded mailboxes and telephones. So make sure you’re sending relevant solicitations to those who are interested. That way, those donors and prospects will pull out your letter and listen to your call and meet with you. Make sure you don’t waste your resources alienating people who are not interested.


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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