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  • Writer's pictureRebecca J Diamond

Who's the Donor? I Don't Know.

Not to long ago I was working with a new development team and a $1,000 check was placed on my desk. Yeah, a $1,000 donation. I asked the staff member, where did this come from? The response, "I don't know". Is this a repeat donor? response, "I don't know". Do we know this person, I asked. "I don't know, again was the response. Could you please go check the database and find out if this donor has a history with us? I inquired. Upon his return he responded, no, this donor has never donated to us before. I then asked, "have you called him, googled him, or gathered any information on this mystery $1,000 donor?" The response was a blank stare, my imagination was that I was asking my questions in a language from a far away land and he didn't understand me. I turned to my computer, googled the man-wow, he was a rockstar (not literally, but a wealthy man that decided to send my organization a very nice donation, could there be more?). I also found the mans email and phone number. I picked up the phone and called, he answered. I let him know I was calling from XYZ non profit and I wanted to thank him for his donation. I asked him point blank, what made you decide to send us this generous gift? He explained that his company (that he owned) had decided to donate to XYZ throughout the affiliates (he also owned) around the country and he wanted to support his employees giving by donating to us also. I was moved by his generosity. I asked him how his company and our non-profit could get more involved with each other, and he introduced me to the senior staff person that was responsible for philanthropic relationships. What's the moral of this story? Know your donors, know your audience and when you don't know, do everything you can to find out! #Donorrelationships #Fundraising #Knowledgeispower #Knowyouraudience

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