1. They know their 5 biggest financial donors by name, but couldn’t name you [nor do they acknowledge] 1 out of 50 of their most loyal, long-standing donors. We know our 5 biggest financial donors by name, so we don’t need to be able to name [nor should we acknowledge] 1 out of 50 of our most loyal, long-standing donors.
  2. They concern themselves with charity “watchdog” cost of fundraising ratings above and beyond communicating the quantitative, progressive impact that they’ve made in furthering their mission, thanks to their donors. We should concern ourselves with charity “watchdog” cost of fundraising ratings above and beyond communicating the quantitative, progressive impact that we’ve made in furthering our mission, thanks to our donors.
  3. Regardless of the channel, they ask for an additional gift, without fail, each and every time that they communicate with a donor who is giving them a precious moment of their limited attention. Regardless of the channel, we should ask for an additional gift, without fail, each and every time we communicate with a donor who is giving us a precious moment of their limited attention.
  4. They consistently appeal to logic rather than emotion in their communications. We should consistently appeal to logic rather than emotion in our communications.
  5. They pay their front line fundraisers $35,000 a year. We should pay our front line fundraisers $35,000 a year.
  6. They aren’t concerned that the average lifespan of a new, young fundraiser is 2.5 years. We shouldn’t be concerned that the average lifespan of our new, young fundraisers is 2.5 years.
  7. They mail address labels and other non-mission based premiums in their acquisition packages, then double down on non-mission based premiums in their acquisition mailings. We should mail address labels and other non-mission based premiums in our acquisition packages, then double down on non-mission based premiums in our acquisition mailings.
  8. Their leadership team has never proactively spent a day to man the inbound donor service lines/email inboxes in order to get a visceral sense of donor concerns. Our leadership team doesn’t need to proactively spend a day to man the inbound donor service lines/email inboxes in order to get a visceral sense of donor concerns.
  9. They send form letters, generic thank you’s to their donors, signed off with a low quality jpeg CEO signature. We should send form letters, generic thank you’s to our donors, signed off with a low quality jpeg CEO signature.
  10. They never update donors on the campaign to which they’ve made their first gift to out of a sense of urgency. We don’t need to ever update donors on the campaign to which they’ve made their first gift to out of a sense of urgency.
  11. Their donor journeys consist of a welcome letter, thank you call, impact update 3 times a year, second gift package, upgrade call, emergency appeal, second gift package, generic email appeal, #givingtuesday appeal, second gift package, year end appeal, tax receipt. Our donor journeys should consist of a welcome letter, thank you call, impact update 3 times a year, second gift package, upgrade call, emergency appeal, second gift package, generic email appeal, #givingtuesday appeal, second gift package, year end appeal, tax receipt.
  12. They don’t acknowledge organizational culture as strategy, their greatest competitive advantage, but rather concern themselves with credentials over competency. We shouldn’t acknowledge organizational culture as strategy, as our greatest competitive advantage, but rather concern ourselves with credentials over competency.
  13. They’ve ignored their abysmal retention rates for years, and don’t plan on allocating budget lines towards a formal retention strategy. We should ignore our abysmal retention rates for years, and not plan on allocating budget lines towards a formal retention strategy.
  14. They’ve invested a disproportionate amount of resources towards social media “awareness” rather than conversion, specifically Facebook, rather than cultivate the joy of giving within traditional population segments who are champions for their cause. We should invest a disproportionate amount of our resources towards social media awareness rather than conversion, specifically Facebook, rather than cultivate the joy of giving within traditional population segments who are champions for our cause.
  15. They continue to push forward strategies and tactics for execution they way that they’ve always done it, not because it’s the best way to do it, but moreso rather because it’s the the way that they’ve always done it. We should continue to push forward strategies and tactics for execution they way that we’ve always done it, not because it’s the best way to do it, but moreso rather because it’s the the way that we’ve always done it.

May you continue to cultivate the joy of giving, as opposed to how they cultivate the joy of giving
AC