There are no major donors! And other surprising insights from Penelope Burk.

Penelope Burk

Penelope Burk has been talking to donors for decades and she brings her 20+ years of donor research to Prospect Research #ChatBytes with some surprising insights!

In prospect research we know that it’s all about turning the data into fundraising action. Worry not! Penelope has your back on this quest. Her research gives us the cold, hard data right from the donors’ mouths. And those donors have a lot to say.

For example, there are some fundraising practices that her research clearly demonstrates are not in any way effective–and yet we in fundraising persist. And that’s not the only way that wefail our donors.

Penelope tells us that there are no major donors. Instead, there are donors who individually each make some big gifts and some small gifts. If a donor makes a small gift to you, and gift size does not reveal capacity, then how should you be stewarding your small gift donors?

But don’t get bogged down in that logic statement, because Penelope also has wisdom specifically for us prospect research officers. She tells us to research and deliver foot-in-mouth prevention insights on prospects to support gift officers in their cultivation efforts.

What are foot-in-mouth prevention insights? I wouldn’t want to crush your curiosity by revealing all in this blog post. Listen in and Penelope will tell you!

Resources Mentioned

  • 2019 Burk Donor Survey | Curious how donors feel about their philanthropy? Ask them! That’s exactly what Penelope Burk has been doing for the past ten years.
  • Donor Centered Fundraising | Now in its second edition and substantially expanded, it includes a scriptand instructions for that all-important prospect research–the thank you call to a new donor!