Last Friday, Jess and Akilah helped me send out over 200 invitations to those of you who gave generously in prior years. To ensure good karma, over the weekend I sat down to do my personal year-end giving. Since I’ve had to fundraise for a living for the past 14 years, I’m especially conscious of the donor experience. I try to be the type (if not size) of donor I’d most like to have on AtMP’s giving roster, and I try to treat AtMP’s donors as well as (or better than) I’m treated by the organizations I donate to.
I’d truly love to hear what works for you. If you’ve given to AtMP, how can we make your giving feel even better? If you haven’t, is it because of something we have or haven’t done?
Here are some things I’ve learned as a donor.
- having a plan really helps. I used the Inspired Philanthropy workbook about 10 years ago and it made my giving process more organized, purposeful and satisfying. Each year I check in with myself, write a few lines about what causes most concern me, and adjust my percentages.
- helping organizations treat me right makes me feel better about them. Simply telling them to address me as Nicky (rather than stuffy ‘Lisa-Nicolle’ or just-not-me ‘Lisa’) encourages me open their letters instead of throwing them away.
- giving online took a huge leap of faith, but really is convenient. I committed to making more of my donations online this year, especially to organizations that use the system that AtMP plans to adopt next year, so I can test it out. As for writing checks, it’s more efficient at the desk than on the bed, for obvious reasons.
- Some of my best donations cost only 44-cents. When I get letters from organizations that don’t interest me, I send them this note: “Thank you for sending me information. I appreciate your work. However, my personal philanthropy is directed elsewhere. Please take me off your mailing list and use your resources to attract other donors.” AtMP has received a few notes like that; while it stings a little, it’s much better than wasting time and being an annoyance.