7 Ways to Perk Up Boring Donor Profiles

by Dan Hutson on May 14, 2009

This presentation by Kivi Leroux Miller deserves the widest possible dissemination because let’s face it: The bad donor profiles nonprofit organizations foist upon their unsuspecting stakeholders far outnumber the good ones.

I think the problem is twofold. One, there are a number of former and/or would-be journalists working in the nonprofit field who look down their noses at donor stories. “The only reason we’re writing about this guy is because he gave us a million bucks,” they say. Right off the bat they assume there’s no good story to be told simply because of the story’s reason for being.

Someone once told me that everyone has a good story to tell. The challenge is to find it. The more I talk to people who insist they’re nothing special, the more I find this to be true.

Two, because good writers are in short supply in most nonprofits, we often force fund raisers to write these things. That’s usually not in their skill set—they’re good at raising money, not writing about it.

But I think good fund raisers have the potential to be good storytellers because they’re so good at relationship-building. They get to know their subjects, just as a good journalist does in developing a personality profile. All we need to do is give them a little guidance in how to shape their donor knowledge into a great story. And that’s what this presentation does.

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