Relationships with donors are crucial, argues fundraiser

Fundraisers worry too much about perfecting marketing techniques instead of concentrating on building relationships with donors, according to Jon Duschinsky, director of French fundraising agency Ressources Non Profit.

“As fundraisers, we spend far too much time worrying about zero response rates in direct marketing and we don’t look at the people behind all that,” Duschinsky told delegates at the 27th International Fundraising Congress in Amsterdam last week.

He predicted that there would be a shift towards relationship building, led by the emergence of tools such as social networking websites that allow fundraisers to build relationships more effectively.

“In the past, we have never used relationships in the way we have wanted to because it has been so expensive – boards have said ‘no, I am not going to let you operate at a loss for three years on this donor even though I will get my value back on the donor in 24 months and the donor will stay with us for x years’,” Duschinsky said.

“But there are increasing numbers of media, and people can interact with charities and vice versa with costs that are almost zero. As fundraisers, we have the tools to build the relationships we have always dreamed of.”

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