Why? Because I don’t think of myself as a ‘donor’; I’m a person, your supporter, your cheerleader and your fan. And unless you’re writing from a luscious spa, the reference to ‘renewal’ isn’t riveting to me, either.
Seriously though, if there’s one hollow term in the sector, it’s ‘donor’. It is such a habitual description of every human and institutional source of funding that it has become faceless and lifeless. Yet, we want to be ‘donor-centric’ and we worry about ‘donor fatigue’.
Perhaps we should start to think about other words to refer to and better describe the generous people who give their hard-earned money to charities, such as friends, super-supporters, heroes and life-savers. That’s what they are to me. Really. These are the people who, after all, back our notion of changing the world – and not with emojis, but with money.
And no, it’s not a word game. It’s about a shift in mindset, relating better and it’s about relationships – which are at the heart of fundraising, which is why it’s also known as friend-raising!
Marisol Gutierrez is Communication and Partnerships Manager at Downes Murray International. She’s also a seasoned copywriter who wouldn’t dream of starting a letter with, ‘Dear Donor’.