At times of tragedy, men and women from around the world will join in a collective show of support for those in need. At these times there is a sense of satisfaction at contributing to solve an immediate social need. But, apart from donations given at times of extreme and extraordinary circumstance, how can you give your nonprofit's contributors a reason to consistently involve themselves in your organization's philanthropic world?
In Yours, Mine & Ours - Creating a Compelling Donor Experience, author Barry McLeish challenges assumptions about what successful nonprofit management looks like in light of new donor strategies and provides savvy insight for keeping up with the business of philanthropy.
Understanding donor expectations
Marketplace conditions have contributed to creating more discerning donors and customers who possess a higher expectation of what to look for - and demand from - nonprofit services, says McLeish. Consider his example of the friend who uses a wheelchair and has the options of taking a specially designed city bus to get around (paid for by taxes), taking a special van run by an assisted-living organization (funded by a grant-giving institution) or riding in a special church van (paid for by parishioner donations). All rides have no financial charge directed at the rider; all have to be scheduled and all are relatively safe. For McLeish, the need to create a compelling philanthropic experience and bond becomes the benchmark that most organizations must set their sights on and operate against.
A question of survival
Having to operate amidst ongoing economic uncertainty and as a part of a culture that typically embraces the accumulation, not dispersal, of wealth means that many nonprofits will be challenged to survive. McLeish argues that nonprofit leaders will need to go beyond the standard marketing rules and funding formulas they have been taught to find solutions for the situations they find themselves in. In Yours, Mine & Ours, he provides answers to the questions: What do donors and other constituents really want? What should (we) as leaders be doing that we currently aren't?
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