Tuning in to Donors

It’s not about you!

En route to a social event, it so happened that a ministry leader and his wife ended up in the same vehicle as an extremely wealthy couple who were friends of the ministry rep. At the event, the ministry leader took the rep aside and raved about the wealthy couple’s wonderful fascination with the ministry. The rep’s stomach tightened. A little while later, as he feared, his wealthy friends took him aside. They were still disgusted by their encounter with the ministry leader. They had tried to be polite, but the ministry leader and his wife were cluelessly boring and self-absorbed, talking endlessly about themselves and their mission. The ministry rep had to do damage control with the potential donors because of the ministry leader’s insensitivity. Successful ministries genuinely tune in to their donors; they don’t fixate on themselves. (This is especially difficult for personality-based ministries.) Donors need enough information to make a decision about giving; they don’t need to know everything the ministry leader thinks and feels and believes and wants! Many ministry leaders are angry that donors receive their appeals and yet don’t give (What is wrong with these people? Can’t they see the value of what we’re doing?); these leaders are tuned in to themselves but not to their donors.

* Like what you just read and want to learn more?
Check out Donors Are People Too: Managing Relationships With Your Ministry’s Major Contributors. This is a great read, written by a seasoned Development Professional – my friend Tim Smith.
I’d love to take you through Major Donor training and coaching… let’s talk.


About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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