For Impact


“As a Donor I want a Relationship”

Blog | | Tom Suddes

Nancy M shared a wonderful talk given by a philanthropist and Chair of a local Campaign.

I thought you would enjoy these THOUGHTS from the talk.


“I also know firsthand what a donor experiences when being approached.

The very first thing I want to hear is a GOOD STORY. Why are you the one cause or organization I should give my time and money towards?

I hear lots of moving stories. Essentially I’m being asked to take a leap of faith that you are the most capable to make the dream come true.”


“What are you going to do with the money?

How do you plan to pull if off?

How can I be INVOLVED to make it happen?”


“If I am considering taking that leap, I look at the leadership and STAFF of the organization, which matters as much to me as the vision.”


“You can have the greatest mission, the greatest story to tell, however, I am truly betting on INVESTING in the people who can carry it off.”


“As a donor, who happens to be a woman, I want to be approached as the person I am. I know there is lots of data on people’s assets and giving histories.

All that is good, but never forget it is simply PEOPLE giving to PEOPLE.”


“I’m also directing in my dealings and do not appreciate transparent “CULTIVATION.” – In fact, I groan when I hear the word.” (TJS: YES!)

“It stands for being indirect and is mildly, to say the least, inauthentic.”


“As a donor, I want the ask to be thoughtful – I know it’s coming so approach me having done your homework. I want a RELATIONSHIP, I don’t want to be objectified.”