The One Thing for 2017

headerbanners-cc

Because I fly a lot, I often think about how different things look from 40,000 feet. From that altitude you see things that you just can’t see anywhere else.

The things that seem so big on the ground take on a different size and proportion in the air. What is dark under cloud cover is bright and sunny above, with sunrises and sunsets that can literally take your breath away. And what seems to be moving slowly is actually travelling at nearly the speed of sound.

Over the years I’ve come to appreciate that such a view contains a powerful truth:

Perspective changes everything.

There are a lot of life applications I could draw for you today that a right perspective can bring: problems aren’t as big as they seem… what may be a dark time can actually lead to something bright and beautiful… what may seem like slow going is actually moving more rapidly than you think, so be patient.

But what I want to focus on for you as a fundraiser in these early days of 2017 is the importance of pivoting from an organizational perspective to a donor perspective. Such a change of perspective changes everything.

  • You live, eat, and breathe your organization and what it does. Your donors don’t – they have a life filled with distractions that keeps your mission from being top of mind.
  • You care deeply about your programs and offerings. Your donors don’t – they care about the impact of those programs and offerings.
  • You think your donors support you, the organization. Your donors don’t – they invest in what is important to them and the outcomes they help make possible through their support.

Yes, perspective changes everything. And if you begin to see your organization from the perspective of your donors, it will change your fundraising program for the good.

  • Rather than talk about all that you’ve accomplished as an organization, you’ll talk about what the donor has accomplished through their support.
  • Instead of asking for support because “we need,” you’ll pivot to talking about tackling the challenge together.
  • You’ll no longer talk about “you” helping “us,” but rather how the donor can make a difference in lives through their investment.
  • Your donors will begin to feel like an owner of your organization through the investments they make as you consistently feed them the stories of lives transformed through those investments.

Let me use another analogy.

In any healthy marriage, spouses learn to see things from the other’s perspective. Doing so helps bring understanding, insight, empathy, and communication that can break through.

So it is in donor relationships. Seeing your organization from your donors’ perspective can make all the difference in the world in creating communications that connect – that break through.

Perspective changes everything.

My one wish for you for 2017 is that you’ll have a more effective fundraising program as you pivot to view your relationship with your donors and your organization from your donors’ point of view.

 


Rick is a 36-year veteran in fundraising and organizational development for nonprofit organizations. After serving for eleven years in nonprofit management and fundraising leadership roles, Rick began his consulting career in 1989. In 2002 he founded Dunham+Company, which has become a global leader in providing fully integrated fundraising strategy for nonprofit organizations.

Today, D+C serves over 50 organizations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia, providing integrated fundraising and marketing strategies.

Rick holds a BA from Biola University and a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary.

He is an active member of the Direct Marketing Association. Rick also serves on the board of The Giving Institute and the Giving USA Foundation. In addition, Rick is a member of The Giving Coalition, the national voice for charitable organizations in the U.S.

EMAIL  |  TWITTER  |  WEB

 

Related posts

Doug Erickson  •  @dougerickson1
Content Consultant, Erickson Media

Doug is a former Major Market award winning Program Director of the Year. He was VP of Programming for one of the first large consolidated radio companies before leaving to open his consultancy. He works with most of the largest media companies in the world but, uniquely, he consults everyadult format, including News/Talk, where his stations have won the distinguished Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism. Doug helped NOSTALGIE, an OLDIES-based station in Paris, become the fastest-growing radio station in French history. While you are in Nashville, you can hear one of his American clients, MIX 92.9! Also uniquely, Doug limits his client list to 8 per year so that each gets virtually unlimited market access.

 

×

John Frost  •  @JohnFrost3
Partner, Goodratings Strategic Services

John Frost has been a successful major market disc jockey and program director for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky during his 40+ years broadcast career. In the last decade and a half, John has been involved in the dramatic growth of Contemporary Christian radio, bringing mainstream programming strategies and research principles to help grow and develop some of America’s most successful Christian music stations including Z88.3 in Orlando, Salem’s Fish stations in Los Angeles, Portland, and Atlanta, CRISTA’s Spirit stations in Austin and Seattle, and many more. CMB honored John in 2004 with the Scott Campbell industry achievement award. Radio and Records and Christian Radio Weekly have recognized John as one of the most influential people in the Christian music industry.

 

×

Justin Wise  •  @JustinWise
Founder/CEO, Think Digital

Justin Wise helps people share what matters most. As the Founder & CEO of Think Digital, Wise and his team help clients through online coaching programs and done-for-you digital marketing. He speaks on the topic of digital marketing strategy at national conferences such as the Digital Media Summit, CLA Internet & Ministry Technology Summit, and the Nonprofit Leadership Academy. Wise lives in Des Moines, IA (by choice), with his wife and three children.

 

×

Wally  •  @wallyshow
Morning Show Host, WAY-FM

Wally hosts mornings on the WAY-FM radio network. He’s been entertaining listeners for more than two decades with the belief that “Content is King”. Wally came to Christian radio as host of “Total Axxess” on WAY-FM in 2007. Since then, The Wally Show has grown to air during morning drive on the entire WAY-FM network, plus other affiliate stations across the country.

 

×

Louie Giglio  •  @louiegiglio
Pastor, Visionary Architect and Director of the Passion Movement

Louie Giglio is Pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, GA, and the Founder of Passion Conferences, a movement gathering collegiate-aged young people since 1997 in events across the US and around the globe. Most recently, Passion hosted over 40,000 people at Passion 2016 in Atlanta, GA and Houston, TX, uniting students in worship and prayer, and raising awareness for modern-day slavery. In 2008, Louie and his wife Shelley led the team that planted Passion City Church, a local community of faith with the DNA of the Passion movement. Their desire is to inspire this generation to live for what matters most.

 

×

Rick Dunham  •  @rjdunham
President & CEO, Dunham+Company and ShareMedia

Rick is a 38-year veteran in fundraising and organizational development for nonprofit organizations. After serving for 11 years in nonprofit management and fundraising leadership roles, Rick began his consulting career in 1989. In 2002 he founded Dunham+Company, which has become a global leader in providing fully integrated fundraising strategy for nonprofit organizations. Today, Dunham+Company serves over 50 organizations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia, providing integrated fundraising and marketing strategies. Rick is the author of Secure: Discovering True Financial Freedom and If God Will Provide, Why Do We Have to Ask for Money? He has also been published and quoted in USA TodayDallas Morning NewsWashington Post and numerous other publications.

 

×