Fundcatching Conversion?

September 23, 2015 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had never heard the term fundcatching until a few years ago. I guess some would call this giving “white mail”, over the transom, unexpected gifts.

But fundcatching is different. Because of an event, the news, disaster, unexpected publicity a nonprofit organization finds itself the recipient of MANY generous, unsolicited contributions.

My question is what do we do with these gifts and the donors who so quickly responded? There is an ongoing discussion about “converting” donors from reactive giving to ongoing support. I have always had a challenge with the term “converting.” Semantics mean a lot to me  – in the way a word is used and the psychological implications.

In my world people and friends convert to Judaism. It was a willing act they made. I don’t see “converting” a donor as a willing act on their part and perhaps more coercive on the part of the nonprofit organization.

Something the donor read or heard prompted them to act and make a gift. I don’t believe this feeling is “convertible.”

I believe we (fundraisers) need to:

  • Remain donor centered
  • Share and communicate with donor about the impact of their gift and many others who responded like they did – donors know when there is an outpouring of support
  • Bring the donor closer to the results three, six, nine months after the gift was received – good, bad or ugly
  • Continue to communicate about the mission writ large and small – with a connected string to the donor’s interest
  • Ask for another gift 10, 11 or 12 months after the donor’s first gift

As the saying goes,

The right gift, from the right donor at the right time.

This is not converting a donor. This is cultivation and stewardship.

Next blog post let’s talk about what an “outpouring of support” means for major gift portfolio management and the annual fund.

Again, and as always, your comments and thoughts welcome.


Entry filed under: Fundraising, Nonprofit fundraising. Tags: , , , .

Fundraising v Fundcatching #PopeinDC or My Day with Pope Francis

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