A Message from our President
I recently left a meeting at which an executive with a nonprofit organization received word about a new donor's gift. The staff person who called was too excited to wait for the executive to return to the office, and the executive was eager to share the news with colleagues. Everyone's day was a little better because of the donor's act, even those of us not directly impacted by the gift.
That conversation made me think a bit about the donations I make throughout the year. Some are small, others are larger, but they all feel meaningful to me...and I hope they are meaningful to the organizations. But, what makes a donor a "good" donor? It can't be the amount, so it must be the person. Maybe there are some basic qualities or behaviors that we can incorporate into our giving that can make us all "good" donors? I stewed about it for the afternoon and came to the realization that there were 3 basic concepts that made the difference for me. Read on, and let me know your thoughts.
As always, we want to hear about your programs, news, and needs. Send us items for our calendar and connect us with organizations who could use our assistance. We are here for you.
All the best,
President, Capability Company
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Article of the Month
Word count: 375
Approximate Reading Time: 2 Minutes
How to be a Good Donor: 3 Easy Suggestions
by Sherry Heuser
It sounds easy to donate - find an organization you like and
write them a check. In its
simplest state, that's all that needs to happen. But, to be a good donor, you should spend a little more time
getting to know the organization and making your gift meaningful. "Meaningful" doesn't require it to be a
six-figure (or even a four- or five-figure) investment; it requires you to pay
attention and follow through.
Three basic to-do's when donating to a cause are to ask, to
care, and to give. Together, these
considerations can put you in a better position to make a gift that truly helps
and to strengthen your relationship with the organization.
1. Ask. Ask
what their greatest needs are and where a donation would have the most
value. Ask what amount is
needed. Ask what partnerships they
have that could match or extend your gift to increase its impact. Ask what they will do with the
money. Ask the best process and
timing for providing the gift. Ask
how (and if) you can be involved with the organization.
Care about what the organization tells you they need. Care about what they will do with the
money. Care about the staff that
manages the donation process and their internal requirements. Care about those who will benefit from
the gift. Care about how you can
continue to help with future donations, volunteer time, connections in the
community, or other support.
3. Give. Give the donation as you have planned or agreed to with
staff. Give opportunities for the
organization to stay in touch with you.
Give time to connect with the organization and become more familiar with
its mission and work. Give
permission to share the news of your generosity.
There is more that goes into being a good donor than simply
writing a check, but it isn't difficult to show your support as a true partner
of an organization, regardless of the size of your donation. Learning about needs, caring about your
connection, and giving of yourself and your resources are basic building blocks
to a great donor-recipient relationship.
You don't need to start big, you just need to start.
Bottom Line: Good donors are easily made - just ask, care, and give.
is president of Capability Company Consulting, a Raleigh, N.C.-based
firm supporting nonprofit organizations' searches for key hires.
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