If you could raise $2.3 million from one donor or $2.3 million from 61,508 donors, which would you choose?
It’s kind of like asking whether you would prefer to take a magic diet pill to lose and keep off 20 pounds or spend the rest of your life doing moderate exercise and eating a balanced diet.
But if we take a closer look, I have to wonder – should we be making the (hardworking, disciplined) choice to fundraise from more, rather than fewer donors? Could there be benefits beyond the immediate dollars?
I had the privilege of speaking with Kina Collins about her new role as Executive Director of the Democratizing Philanthropy Project (DPP). At first I was keen because DPP is focused on helping organizations attract individual donors through best practices in digital first fundraising. And this alone reflects DPP’s keen awareness of an opportunity for BIPOC organizations to be in the right place at the right time.
As it happens, many well-established organizations are failing to attract and keep a broad base of donors and this threatens their long-term survival. There is a lot of woe in the nonprofit sector about the “decline of the individual donor.” I’m skeptical that donors have stopped giving. I want to believe that it is more about donors diverting their giving to non-measured community support.
New actors, such as DPP, are offering discontented donors the message and the opportunity to give to organizations they feel are directly impacting what is most important to them — organizations inside their communities that are responding to their needs.
Is there a benefit to connecting with 61,508 donors? It’s all in the name: Democratizing Philanthropy Project.
Listen carefully to Kina and how she represents DPP’s work, as well as her lived experience raising money for her political candidacy in Chicago. Something important is unfolding.
Major gift prospect research might feel pretty far down the line from building a small-dollar donor program, but is it? Aspire works with organizations that do an amazing job of building strong, meaningful relationships with their donors across dollar amounts. Organizations where donors call in asking to talk to someone about giving more.
Can prospect research be flexible enough to adopt some different language and create new systems and procedures to accommodate these champions of the donor relationship? I think so.
I know you’ll enjoy hearing Kina Collins in this episode so don’t forget to connect with her and follow DPP!
Kina Collins: LinkedIn