3 things every fundraiser needs to consider before they talk politics in front of their donors

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

Thumbnail image I don’t have any data on this whatsoever but something tells me that a good number of fundraisers might lean left when it comes to politics.
But what about your donors? Do they lean left or right? Do you know? Could you be alienating them by assuming that their politics align with yours?
Here are 3 things you might want to consider as you engage with your supporters (according to Arthur C. Brooks book titled Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism):

  1. In 2000, households headed by a “conservative” gave, on average, 30% more money to charity than households headed by a liberal although the “liberal” households earned 6% more.
  2. Religious households give 25% more and volunteers give 23% more than non-religious households.
  3. Using IRS data on the percentage of household income given away in each state, red states are more charitable than blue states.

It’s important to recognize that there are four main forces that are primarily responsible for making people charitable:

  • Religion
  • Skepticism about the government in economic life
  • Strong families
  • Personal entrepreneurism

Bottom line: Whether you lean left or right, be very careful with your political discourse unless you are absolutely sure about your donors’ leanings. You never know who you might offend.

Related posts:

>> 15 telephone call don’ts for major and legacy gift fundraisers
>> Why people give

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