Get Your Nose Out of Your Navel

“I resolve to stop using myself as a gauge for what will resonate with my donors. In other words, stop trying to raise money from yourself.

“No matter who you are or where you are in your fundraising career, you probably aren’t a proper representative for your target donor demographic.

“You’re likely younger and much more ingrained in the inner workings of the fundraising milieu in general and the work of your organization specifically. Your donors don’t eat, drink, sleep and breathe your organization’s messaging, so they aren’t as bored with it as you might be.

“They might not even remember that they get four mailings from you a year – much less the details of what any of them said. They’re not jaded to the specifics of your organization’s work, so you can’t speak to them as though you are.

“Your communications need to be personal, raw, real – and consistent.

“And the only way to sustain that is to get your nose out your navel and start looking at your work through your donors’ eyes.”

By Margaret Battistelli Gardner, reprinted with permission