Great quote here from Ken Gergen, author of the one of the best fundraising books of the year that has precisely nothing to do with fundraising, Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community:
*If a policeman says “Stop where you are.”… you become a suspect.*If a salesperson says, “Can I help you?” …you become a customer.*If your wife says, “Can you give me a hand, honey?” … you become a husband.*If your child says, “Mommy come quick.” …you become a mother.Others call us into being as a suspect, a customer, a husband, a mother, and so on. Would we be any of these without such callings?
So where do donors come from?
From nonprofits who call out to people, “We need money to do our work. Do you have any money to give us?”
We nonprofits could issue out any number of types of calls to members of the public. In the process we could call into being volunteers, champions, apprentices, learners, amateurs (in the best sense of the word), budding experts, students, cause-centered communities, and disciples.
But the fact that we value people primarily for their ability to give us their money means that we seldom call into being anything other than donors.