The importance of cultivating BFFs for your organization

When I ask fundraisers what they most want from donors, the answer is almost always “more money.” And that makes me sad, although I understand the reasons behind the words.

Organizational well-being depends on meeting this year’s fundraising goals. The burden of out-sized expectations weigh heavy on fundraisers’ minds. It’s little wonder that increased giving in the present is the stuff of development officers’ dreams.

However, if you look no further than the current fiscal year, you sell short your organization and the good folks who give to advance its mission. Worse, you ignore (at your peril) what donors expect in return for the gift.

People are willing to part with their hard-earned money because they want to be part of causes that are bigger and better than what they can accomplish alone. They give as a way of making a difference in their communities (churches, schools, worlds, etc.). They give to advance Kingdom purposes. Specific to your organization, they give believing it can provide all that and more.

When you deliver on donor expectations, the remarkable happens. Casual supporters become your organization’s BFFs in the truest sense.

These are the folks most likely to

share good ideas.
evangelize for your organization on social media.
reduce your operating costs by volunteering with the organization.
connect you with their professional networks.
introduce you to their friends.

These also are the folks most likely to grow in faith through their giving.

It’s the blessed organization that has a growing cadre of loyal, passionate BFFs standing with it. Genuine affection and friendship are gifts that keep on giving, surprising, and delighting – this fiscal year and for years to come.

So, the next time I or anyone else asks what you most want from donors, think of hearts over dollars. Do that and you’re more likely to win more of both.


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