Become a better fundraiser by becoming a donor

Matt Stauffer

Any time you have constituents in your work, you’ll do a better job if you can put yourself in their shoes. Working with college students? It helps to think like a college student–or, at least, understand how they think.Β Similarly, how can you be a good fundraiser if you don’t know what it’s like to be a donor?

I was on the phone with my supervisor last week and he gave me some great fundraising advice–speaking from what he expects and desires from people he supports. I realized that some of my greatest understanding of how to interact with my donors well comes from my interactions (or lack thereof) with people my wife and I support financially.

So, if you don’t already, find someone within or without your organization who is a personal fundraiserΒ and start supporting them. Don’t feel like you can afford it? What if you just gave them $10/month? That’s $10 they didn’t have before, and will be just as effective in entering you into a donor-fundraiser relationship.

Now that you’re on the other side of the coin, how does it feel? What do you wish for, what do you appreciate? I hope that this will give you a chance to support a deserving staffworker, and also to learn more how to love and care for your donors.

Special assignment: What if you sought out someone who has a smaller potential support base than the average staff? Throw in your support for a staff from a non-Christian background, a low-income family, or who doesn’t fall into the normal “Pastor” stereotype–that is, find a woman and/or a person of color. You may also find you have a lot to learn from them and their particular fundraising experiences.

By Matt Stauffer | Posted: Jan 10, 2012
Category: Fundraising | Permalink | Post a comment | Trackback URL.


  1. Jason
    January 10, 2012, 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Great idea. Everyone who reads this post please support my ministry $10/month! πŸ™‚


  2. Donna Wilson
    January 11, 2012, 9:59 am | Permalink

    Matt, you’re right on target. It’s a biblical model that goes back to the Levites who were supported by the people’s tithe, but were also commanded to tithe out of the tithe they received. One of the things I shared with the ONS class is that even secular fundraisers recognize the importance of this principle. One wrote, “If the organization you raise funds for isn’t your number one place you are giving your charity dollars, you shouldn’t be working for them. You should be so committed to your mission that you are passionate about supporting it.” Donna Wilson

    • January 11, 2012, 10:14 am | Permalink

      Thank you so much for your insight into this! I think I might’ve been better off asking you to write the post! πŸ™‚

      I love that quote–“You should be so committed to your mission that you are passionate about supporting it.” Thank you.


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