Why fundraising is all about the heart

What causes donors to donate? Once you have an answer to that question, you are on your way to effective fundraising.

Here’s a good look at some text I saw in a book I recently read on fundraising:

… start with the premise that major gifts are not about money, taxes, power or standing. Instead, it is a thing of the heart…. And if you operate with this belief, then your core objective will be to connect your donor’s heart to the cause.

I have two things to add to this:

  1. It’s true about all fundraising, not just major donors. People give from the dictates of their hearts. If your fundraising is based on facts, figures, and amazing arguments for the importance of your cause, you will be left high and dry, no matter which donors you’re connecting with.
  2. Now and then, a donor (most typically a major donor) does come up with other reasons for giving. And sometimes those reasons can lead to attempts to distort your mission to their preference. It can be tempting to go along with it in order to secure a large gift. Don’t let that happen! It’s unethical, and in the end, it doesn’t help your cause — or the donor.
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