Originally, I started this blog a few years ago while serving on the board for a nonprofit that serves the nonprofit community. It began as a way for me to share my knowledge and opinions about fundraising and its effective and not so effective methods for raising money for nonprofit organizations and schools. By writing my articles and sharing on different media platforms, I was able to increase traffic to the organization’s website greatly, bringing in readers from all over the country and the world. It’s an accomplishment that I am proud of.
A couple years later, family events caused me to leave the city where I lived for a very long time, and I moved back to my hometown to care for aging parents. I continued my blogging, but because I was no longer serving the organization that birthed this blog, I moved the Greater Good Fundraising blog to WordPress.com, and eventually wrote a series on the Ethics of Professional Fundraising. Many articles were widely shared by fundraising professionals and organizations, and I was greatly honored by those who felt my writing and opinions were helpful to the sector.
Unfortunately, I chose to step away from writing about nonprofit issues. I took a job in a factory for a while, working nights so I could continue my family obligations. At that time, I labored anywhere from forty to sixty hours a week, often until 2:00 or 3:00 am, and then got up in the morning to take care of family matters. I had no time or energy to put into writing.
At the beginning of 2017, I came back to blogging about the nonprofit sector. I have written a number of posts since the new year began, but it really hasn’t been the same as when I originally started the blog. I found myself writing about nonprofit topics that took a political turn, largely because of the results of last year’s presidential election. The observations I started making became rather judgmental because of the political, and sometimes hypocritical actions of many in the nonprofit community, and I strayed away from what made this blog an interesting read, particularly for newer development professionals, because according to much of the correspondence I received from readers early in the existence of the blog, I helped them learn about fundraising methods and donor-centered fundraising by seeing things differently than they had before.
Well, I think it is time to try a new direction for the blog. Because I am fascinated by what motivates donors to give to the causes of their choice, I have decided to start interviewing real donors and ask them about their causes, their giving philosophies, and their opinions about what is right and wrong about the nonprofit sector. I want them to tell my readers what is important to them, and let my readers know that each donor is an individual, not a stereotyped demographic. Those I interview may be a local civic leader or celebrity, a private citizen, an elderly individual, a millennial or even a child. I believe we can learn from them all.
I have noticed that many in our field of fundraising rely too heavily on demographics when attempting to acquire new supporters, forgetting that no two donors are exactly alike or think and feel the same way. I hope this new format will give fundraisers and their boards something to think about as they consider their fundraising options in the future.