Donor-centric = Diversity & Inclusion

What does it mean to be donor-centric? Is it to know the donor behind the donation? I consider myself a newbie in Fundraising having only been in this field for 1.5 years. Seeing the different ways that not-for-profits are communicating with their donors has taught me a lot. It taught me that being donor-centric is putting the human first.

My greatest ‘aha’ moment was when I recognized that being donor-centric means being Diverse and Inclusive.

Why? I shall explain…

To begin with the definition of the words:

Diversity1 means understanding each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.

Inclusive2 means valuing all individuals, giving equal access and opportunity to all and removing discrimination and other barriers to involvement.

Donor-centric3 means using an approach that inspires donors to remain loyal longer and give more generously. It is easy to understand; it focuses on the things that make fundraising profitable; and it comes from donors themselves.

How does being donor-centric relate to Diversity and Inclusion?

As above, donor-centric means to have an approach that inspires donors. How can you inspire donors without understanding the donor, recognizing the individual differences (diversity) and valuing the donor (inclusion). The 4 key words are: inspire, understand, recognize and value. These key points made me realize how connected they are.

Example 1:

ALS Foundation Netherlands: I have already died

Summary: This campaign is about nine Dutch ALS patients who were selected to participate in their ads (recognize). They were filmed talking about the disease (understand) and asking for donations to the Foundation (inspire). By the time their ads were aired they had passed away. Donations went up by 500%. Why? In my opinion it is because of the emotional connection which everyone can relate to and the fear of losing a close family member (value). In this ad they don’t tell you if the person was gay, had a disability, which race they came from, what their religious beliefs were, yet everyone got drawn to the message. But regardless of your identity, anyone could get ALS. Humanity is key in this ad, and therefore it made an impact for many. I find this campaign donor-centric because it inspires the donors knowing that the patients, their family members and the ones who are affected by the disease could be anyone.

Example 2:

Deloitte – Respect and Inclusion Campaign

Summary: This campaign speaks about how at Deloitte they work hard to be inclusive (value). It is their mission to have a diverse employee base (inspire) that reflects the makeup of today’s society. Why is this campaign powerful? I believe it is because it shows the perception of today’s society and values Diversity and Inclusion. Deloitte relies on the talent (recognize) of their employees. Humanity is what makes this a strong campaign. Does everyone agree? I am sure not but the ones who have been touched can relate or accept the differences between people (understand). They don’t judge others because they are in a different boat.

These 2 campaigns are very different yet touch (inspire) many people because they are very confronting and real. Viewing these 2 campaigns made me realize that it is humanity that binds us all together (value). The people that put their perceptions of others above humanity (understand) miss out knowing the actual person, the capacity that they have and the change that they can make (recognize). We have the power to make change!

I am doing my part by accepting people as they are. Are you? As the definition of diversity explains; everyone is unique. For me the connection I am making here is that being donor-centric and the principles of Diversity and Inclusivity are connected. Let’s all be human!