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Insights from Karen Climer about fundraising and nonprofit organizations

What To Do When Everyone Is Donating To A Disaster And You Aren’t A Disaster Organization

June 27th, 2016 by Karen Climer

I talked to several fundraising professionals in the last two weeks. Everyone is concerned about how the $15 million that has been donated to the Pulse victims and relevant nonprofits will affect giving to their own nonprofit. Let’s face it: if Great Big Philanthropic Company donates $1 million to the shooting victims, that is probably $1 million that they will not have available to donate to the homeless shelter, the arts, or the litter cleanup initiative. So if you work for the homeless shelter, the arts, or the litter cleanup initiative, what should you do? The same thing you would do it they sent you a million dollars – thank them.

Send a note to Great Big Philanthropic Company and thank them for donating to the shooting victims. Yes, thank them for donating to a nonprofit that is not one you represent.

Dear Jane,

I saw on the news that Great Big Philanthropic Company donated a million dollars to the Orlando United Fund. That is awesome! Thank you so much for supporting our community. In times like these, everyone has to pull together. I appreciate that Great Big has stepped up, as you always do, to set the example for the rest of the community. Thank you again for everything you do to make Orlando a better place to live.

Best regards,

Director of Development

If I had a nickel for every time I heard a fundraiser say, “Fundraising is about relationships,” I could’ve single-handedly donated the $15 million. If you believe that fundraising is about relationships (and I hope you do), then focus on the relationship. Thank your donors and congratulate them for doing something cool in the community even if, no, especially if it has nothing to do with your organization or cause.

Posted in Acknowledgment, Relationships

2 Responses

  1. Frances

    Excellent article. Most people will not even think of this.

  2. Celia

    Just a really good article… and even helping with the wording… your articles are so helpful!!!

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