August 27, 2013

Malcolm Sproull, Fundraising Manager  for SHINE, New Zealand, posted the following on LinkedIn:

“I came to the philanthropy/non-profit sector after 25 years in relationship selling and marketing in the commercial world. I never knew anyone could ask anyone for money if the asker wasn’t customer centric. It’s the fundamental DNA of relationship selling, which was the foundation for Ken Burnett’s book Relationship Fundraising.

“But your book [Keep Your Donors: The Guide to Better Communications and Stronger Relationships] was the first I came across in the non-profit sector illustrating the need to be so focused and to put one’s energies into seeking out the “pre-disposed”.

“It was the first time I had confirmation that the relationship selling principles I was then applying to the non-profit sector were not off the rails. At that early entry into the non-profit sector on many occasions I thought I had stepped into the Twilight Zone. Your books and those of Tom Ahern’s were and are a brilliant help.”

Thank you, Martin, for that marvelous testimonial about Keep Your Donors, written by Tom and me. But more importantly, thank you for your insights. Hey everyone, pay attention to what Martin says:

  • A donor is a customer. Think customer centric. Then you’ll understand donor centric.
  • No one can ask for money unless they are donor centric!
  • Customer centric and donor centric are the DNA of relationship building.
  • For heavens’ sake, read Ken Burnett’s seminal book Relationship Fundraising.
  • Focus. Identify those that you suspect might be predisposed to your cause. Avoid cold calling.
  • Once you’ve identified some predisposed, qualify them as prospects…or leave them alone! A prospect means someone who has actually expressed interest. Don’t confuse the predisposed and actual prospects.

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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