As a fundraiser, you ask for money everyday.

But when was the last time you gave money to another nonprofit?

Any fundraiser worth his or her salt should sit in both seats or wear the other shoes or whatever metaphor you want to use. Not only should you practice good fundraising, you should practice being a donor.

Choose a couple of organizations (not your own) that you like and send them a gift. Doesn’t have to be much.

The point is that you need the experience of giving and being thanked. You need to understand how it feels when a gift is acknowledged (or not). How do you feel when you make the gift? What does the Thank You letter look like? Does it make you feel appreciated?

Experience being the donor to improve your fundraising efforts.

Notice how the giving process feels. Is it easy to donate or do you have to search their website for a way to give?

How are you thanked? Is it a standard letter? Is it personalized? Does it include a note explaining how your donation will be used? Does it give you confidence in the organization?

What other communications do you receive? Do you receive a newsletter or other direct mail pieces? Do you get regular emails? Are you asked for an additional gift?

If you aren’t thanked, or if it takes a long time to receive an acknowledgement letter, how does that make you feel?

Sitting in the Donor’s seat for a little while will help you do a better job when you get back in the fundraising seat.

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