Or maybe that’s the good news! It depends on your perspective. Landing the major gift is something that all development directors wish for. Unfortunately, giving is not something that you can force anyone to do.
To address this issue directly, many organizations have come up with a donor bill of rights. This can be an excellent guide for the development team, as to what level their organization values their donors. It can be the antidote to treating donors as just a number needed to fulfill a budget or bottom line. I recently found a great donor bill of rights from the University of Nebraska Foundation. It’s a list of 11 statements that describes the value they place on their donors and the gifts that they receive.
The beliefs that stand out for me from this list include:
- Donors determine where to direct their gifts
- This is the foundation for a trusting relationship with donors
- The relationship with the donor is valued as much as the gift
- If you focus only on the gift, it will probably be your last
- What we help donors achieve isn’t measured in dollars and cents
- How true! It’s about helping donors find their philanthropic passion
- Every employee contributes to every gift
- If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that the development director is only as good as their support staff!
- Our goals are reached as a team. We respect our colleagues.
- This one is absolutely imperative to the success of any fundraising organization
- Most of all we believe our integrity, not our endowment, is our greatest asset
- We are nothing if we lose our integrity! I personally, cannot ask others to give if I don’t believe in the organization 100%
I believe that if we all create and embrace our own donor bill of rights we will be well on our way to landing the major gift that our donors voluntarily and eagerly want to give.
I would be interested to hear how many of you have a donor bill of rights in place in your organization. Please leave a comment below.