The Gap and The Gift

The Gap

There’s a gap between your organization and your donors.

Savvy fundraising organizations know that donors don’t know as much about your beneficiaries or cause as your organization does.

That donors often don’t care quite as much as you care.

That donors often use different words and phrases than you would. 

Savvy fundraising organizations know that the people on the other side of the gap are not likely to close the gap themselves.  Donors are quite happy as they are, thank you very much.  They don’t have a felt need to be educated, learn new jargon, or grow to an expert’s level of understanding.

So savvy fundraisers make the generous act of crossing the gap and meeting donors where the donors are. 

That means writing to donors at donors’ level of understanding.  It means no jargon.  It means being specific, not conceptual.

It means figuring out what motivates donors to give and crafting your fundraising around those motivators – even if those motivators are not what motivates the organization’s staff. 

And when you’ve done the generous thing – crossed the gap to meet the donor where they are – then you can ask them to take a first step towards involvement and greater understanding. 

That first step?  It’s usually a financial gift.  A check in the mail or a donation online.

And that gift happens because you gave them a gift, first.  You crossed the gap.  You went to them.


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

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