Before the computer, there was no such thing as “demographics.” Now we tend to see people in statistical groups; an individual is simply a reflection of a larger “segment” of the population. Those of us in ministry tend to think this way about our donors. And it’s not all bad. There are “general” donors and “large” donors. There are “active” donors and “lapsed” donors. With unlimited money, an organization could invest in all of them equally. But with the real-world constraints of a limited budget, we have to invest appropriately. Ideally, though, we want to treat each donor as an individual as much as possible. Even a general donor whom the organization can really only afford to interact with via the mail can in some cases be afforded the dignity of a letter which bears his own name, instead of “Dear Friend.” We certainly want to do all we can to treat the individual as a unique person. With major donors, where we can invest more resources appropriately, we can interact with each individual uniquely.
* Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, Donors Are People Too: Managing Relationships With Your Ministry’s Major Contributors.