I find a widespread misunderstanding about the notion of what constitutes being donor-centered. It derives from two misconceptions:
- Assuming people don’t want to be asked.
- Spending all your time on cultivation, assuming folks don’t need an ask and will simply give spontaneously as a result of being wooed.
Both of these rationales short-change your would-be donors.
FIRST: Donors want to be asked because they’re starved for the love that comes from voluntary giving and receiving. Donors have love to give, but don’t always have an object towards which to direct their affection.
SECOND: Donors need to be asked because when they’re not, they don’t know how much you need their help. Consequently, giving feels a bit empty. Almost a bit like a crap shoot. Donors want to invest their money where they feel confident it will be most appreciated and will do the most good.
Let’s delve into both of these misconceptions more deeply, putting them into a donor-centered context.
In other words, what are your would-be donors feeling?