First, a really quick story.
I was flying home from a speaking engagement last week when I found myself sitting next to a very sweet, chatty, “mature” lady (about 70 years old) who proceeded to tell me about her vacation plans. She had a lot of friends and she was flying to meet one of them so they could go on quite an extravagant trip together.
We chatted for a while and she showed me pictures of her friends all over the world. That’s when I noticed her exquisite jewelry and the Chanel handbag she carried. “She must be pretty well-off,” I thought to myself.
Next she asked me about my family and my business. First, I told her about my family. During that part of the conversation, she shared that she was a widow and she never had children.
Then, when I told her what I did for a living, she became energized and started to talk about her favorite charities.
About one, she said, “They do ______ and they are doing a great job!”
With regard to another, she said, “They are really growing. I think it’s because they ______.”
Then, finally, she told me about her local hospital. That’s where she volunteers. That’s also where her husband used to work. He was a surgeon. As a couple, they were very active. He was a Board Member.
As a volunteer, she answers telephones two days a week. And, sometimes, she pitches in at the Help Desk successfully directing frantic family members seeking their loved ones’ rooms.
And now, the difference between we and they.
Interestingly, the entire time she discussed the hospital with me, she said, “We are going to do _____.” And, “We helped _____.”
“Hmm,” I thought to myself. “I wonder which organization will get her major and planned gifts.”
That’s when I realized that the difference between “we” and “they” is a substantial one.
Are you getting your supporters so engaged and involved that they refer to your organization and themselves as “we”?
Are you finding out which ones hold you in this high regard?
And, lastly, are you acting as a facilitator for their giving?
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