Donor vs. Donation

Photo by lincolnblues

As everyone is putting together their 2009 Development Plans and plotting ways to meet their annual goals for 2008, we all need to remember what the difference between a donor and a donation is.

Donations can be easy to come by. Co-workers, volunteers, and committed supporters need only to ask their friends, family, and acquaintances for a donation. Those people may give again, or they may not. But they aren’t donors.

Donors are those that are committed to your cause and feel vested in your organization’s success. They give almost every year. They are your volunteers, employees, and committed supporters. They also are the ones you should be focusing on and are ripe for planned giving.

Many organizations make the fatal mistake of focusing heavily on the “new donor” when they should be cultivating the donors they already have. New donors are important, but organizations need to understand the difference between a new donor and a new donation. Getting someone to give once to buy tickets to an event, and then never give again doesn’t help your organization in the long run. While only focusing on donations can be necessary in tough times, it should never be the primary strategy. So, as you are putting together your 2009 Development Plans remember this and focus on getting more donors.

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