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Who is more important… your donors or the beneficiaries of their gifts?

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 -- Who is more important... your donors or the beneficiaries of their gifts? Organizations spend a lot of time and effort focusing on what they will do with the money they receive from donors.
And, that makes plenty of sense. People won’t give you money if you don’t have a plan for what you’ll do with it. The beneficiaries of the donations are important— of course!
But that’s only part of the equation.
I think nonprofits should spend a lot of time and effort focusing on what your donors will get in return for giving. Tweet this!
Mindsets at nonprofits need to be adapted to ensure that the donor is at least 50% of the operational and communication formula. All staff must recognize and acknowledge that the donors need to be beneficiaries of your nonprofit’s efforts just as much as those who benefit from their gifts.
When a nonprofit modifies its ethos to put the donors on equal footing with the beneficiaries, they get more gifts.
It looks like this:
Nonprofit organization = Help donors get what they want (50%) + Help beneficiaries get what they need (50%)


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9 responses to “Who is more important… your donors or the beneficiaries of their gifts?”

  1. Jim Chitwood says:

    My thoughts exactlyrics when I saw the headline.

  2. Scott says:

    Thanks, Greg! I was taught early in my career to view development (particularly planned giving) as a service to the donors. It is not only the beneficiaries who win. It is also the giver!

  3. Sharon Wangman says:

    The old quote…You must friend-raise before fundraise still rings true Greg. Both the donor and the beneficiates of their gifts are important. Donors wishing to align their values with us – ensures that with their help – we can help others in need.

  4. Sharon Wangman says:

    Thanking and acknowledging donors for their future gift ensures we understand where, what, and how they would like their bequest to be directed. Understanding the donors values and then sharing how the value of their gift will make to others is essential for any bequest program.

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