Friday Buzz: Don’t Make Donors Seek Anonymity From You

Why a poor communications strategy could hurt your chances to get to know your potential donors. Also: Why constituent outreach is such an effective lobbying strategy.

Your donors may want to maintain their privacy—and that’s OK! Still, it’s worth understanding why they might want to keep their donation anonymous.

Simply put, it might be possible that you’re scaring them off, according to Caryn Stein, Network for Good’s vice president for communications and content. Poor communication practices such as spamming, aggressive marketing, and selling email lists to the highest bidder can be very off-putting to donors.

Stein recommends rethinking your communication strategy to make certain you’re being transparent and respectful with potential donors.

“As you collect, grow, and manage your donor list, think about how you communicate with your donors,” Stein writes on The Nonprofit Marketing Blog. “Are you welcoming them into a personal relationship with your organization or causing them to run and hide?”

Check out Stein’s post for a set of best practices to ensure donors are choosing to be anonymous for privacy reasons—and not because they don’t trust your nonprofit organization.

Consider Their Constituents

If you’re trying to sway a legislator on the Hill, you might find you’ll have a better chance if you understand the people that voted him or her into office.

That’s the take of Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. His association has started to embrace technology to create campaigns that focus on grassroots efforts. And the result is that, when the association is looking influence a legislator, it’s often the constituents who can be the most influential and helpful in developing good public policy.

“Most all of our campaigns are outside of Washington today,” Gerard said in an interview with David Rehr, a program director with George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, as shown on CEO Update. “With the new tools and techniques, as you’re able to connect directly with individual voters, it’s actually voters that are more effective working with elected officials.”

Watch Gerard’s interview in the video above.

Other Links of Note

Database expert Wes Trochlil knows a lot about using data management to drive new membership. Wild Apricot has his top five best pieces of advice, all in one place.

All great ideas have to start somewhere, and Uber’s started out in 2010 as a platform called UberCab. It’s crazy to think how quickly it has fundamentally changed the nature of getting a ride.

New to the event-planning game? Don’t fret. This Event Manager Blog post could help you hit the ground running.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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