“Mommy, where do major donors come from?”
Well, dear, it’s a very special story. And you’re old enough now for me to share it with you.
It begins with a group of people. They decide to work together to make something better. To be kinder to people or animals. To make beautiful things that everyone can enjoy. To keep our air and water safe.
They become a nonprofit organization. And when they decide they want more people to help them, they ask for donations.
The very wise organizations understand that the more people who help them, the better their results will be.
Because people like to help, and money is only one way to do that. Also because even people who can give only smaller amounts of money might care very much.
That’s when they begin something called an individual giving program. They write to as many people as they can, telling them all about the problem, and asking them very nicely to help.
Then they thank these kind people. And they make sure to tell them everything good that’s happening because they were kind and gave.
Over time, they find even more kind people and ask them to give as well. They take very good care of all these people. They thank them often. They make sure they get all the important news. And they keep asking them to help – because these kind people want to keep helping.
I want you to understand that the amount of money people give isn’t as important as why they give.
Because doing good work is about people’s hearts. Some people with big hearts can give a little and some can give a lot – but they all understand that we have to work together to build a better and fairer world for everyone.
It’s not always easy to keep thanking and including these donors. But the smart organizations do it anyway, and happily. They also work hard to keep track of all their new friends. Because it’s important.
They learn that some of these kind people might be able to give more money. That would let the organization do even more good things.
So they talk to these people and when the time is right, they ask them to give a much larger amount of money.
When the people of the organization talk to each other, they call the people who say yes “major donors”.
Now, you might have been told that major donors just happen. That there are people with a lot of money, and if they are asked nicely, they’ll give lots of money right off.
But that’s not really so.
Major donors don’t just happen. They grow. They grow when smart people from these nonprofit organizations work very hard and take very good care of the kind people who give them some money.
They never make them feel like the money they give isn’t enough. And they never ignore them. They take great care to include them!
And that is where major donors come from. From love and care and lots of hard work.
Inspired by my brilliant friend Denisa Casement, who knows.