Whose Urgent?—not who’s!

No, it’s not a grammatical faux pas. It’s on purpose. The possessive is used here because ownership is implied. The question is, who owns the urgency.

For nonprofit organizations the “urgent” is often meeting the serious and critical needs of others. Well and good.

The trick for the organization is to get potential investors—the donors—to share in that urgency. I say trick because that’s often how it works out; an organization manipulating (sometimes unintentionally) potential donors in an attempt to make the organization’s “urgent” into the donors’” important.”

Encouraging philanthropy is fundamentally not about communicating the urgent. It’s about learning what’s important to your donors and building upon that importance.

But what about our mission, the urgent needs of those we serve, you say? Knowing and communicating your mission—your purpose—is critical for fundraising success. No doubt about it. The question you must ask yourself, however is: have I inquired, have I asked those that would support me what they think is important?

Principle 4 of The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising® is Learn & Plan™. First learn who your potential supporters are—who they really are—and then make your plans on how to reach out to them. Your organization—and the individuals who benefit from your good works—will both be the better for it.

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