Are fundraising professionals listening to their donor’s “money” story?

Some of us don’t understand our donor’s decisions because we’re not listening. Today, Wanda and I wrestled with the question of whether fundraising professionals are taking the time to hear to their donors “money” stories. Wanda shared that by listening closely to the role that money has had in the lives of our donors, we are given an opportunity to resolve some of the other power dynamics that often surface in these relationships. What makes these conversations so important is that they afford the fundraiser insight into the nuances that inform their donor’s decisions and perspective that gift histories and wealth screening information cannot. While such data might enlighten us in some ways, we will never learn more than by sitting down, perhaps over coffee or lunch, and inviting them to share in this way. 

Wanda and I also talked about why some fundraisers don’t afford themselves this type of opportunity in their work. I would venture to say these individuals often miss out on experiencing fundraising as exploratory work. I suspect that those fundraisers who feel they did not sign up to be curious chameleons struggle to identify with the person across the table and feel safer maintaining a transactional relationship. Rather than being invested in a genuine and meaningful relationship that can be counted on for many years to come, they would prefer to narrowly focus on the the gift at hand.

As always, we are very grateful to our friends at CueBack for sponsoring The Fundraising Talent Podcast. And, if you’d like to learn more about hosting Responsive’s roadshow in your community, please reach out and let’s talk. 

About our guest 

Wanda Scott, CAP®, CFRE, Founder and Principal Consultant of Wanda Scott & Associates, is a fundraising and development professional with over 19 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector. Wanda has successfully led development and advancement teams in nonprofit and university settings and as a chartered advisor in philanthropy (CAP®) she has advised individuals on transformative philanthropic giving. Her passion for supporting professionals in fundraising is the catalyst for starting her business and joining national and local efforts to strengthen the fundraising field.

2356 232