What are my needs as a donor?

This was in response to a very good blog post by Kimberley Mackenzie, which has prompted some great comments.

My needs as a donor?

1. Prompt acknowledgement of my support

2. Not getting my next appeal before my acknowledgement!

3. I’m not so fussed on how I’m fed back to myself, but it would be nice to know once in a while that my support had actually helped do something, in fairly simple terms! I don’t tend to do more than skim newsletters and I tend to ditch emails unless they really grab me. And I don’t have time to attend events.

4. To feel that my support isn’t just taken for granted.

But then I’m a busy fundraiser and my giving is coloured by my knowledge that there’s someone like me at the other end, manically watching their response rates and average gifts.

I think the tricky thing with donor needs is how you balance meeting those needs with the reality of your organisation. What if a donor has ‘champagne needs but a beer budget’, for example? I think we all as fundraisers know some, and may be guilty of being them as well with the causes we support!

So, what I try to do is make sure that, as far as possible, donors who give to us at Leeds get the sense that there are real people receiving their gifts on students’ behalf, who’ll engage with them in a human way if they want to be engaged with.

If someone expresses concern through one of our telephone appeal calls, I’ll do my best to write back personally and address the issue, explaining a bit about how we work if I need to make things a bit clearer. I think the phone is a fantastic fundraising tool, just because of that opportunity it can open up for a real dialogue with some donors.

I’m sure I don’t always get it right, but I do try to remember that people want to give to people, and that that holds true for donor care just as much as for design and copy.



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