Whether you’re a cat person or a dog person, you know that these little furry love-bugs have personalities all their own.

Missy is one of four cats that live here with us. We adopted her from a local shelter about 10 years ago and she’s a sweetie.

She’s the oldest and the smallest of the pack and to help her keep weight on, we feed her canned cat food every afternoon about 4 pm.  She LOVES her “tuna” as we call it and eats every last bite.

Lately, I’ve been watching her and thinking that Missy might have something to teach us about good fundraising practices.

Here’s what I’ve noticed:Missy

She knows what her goal is. Missy knows what she wants and every afternoon, she waits in her usual spot for her dinner. She’s patient and doesn’t give up.

She’s hopeful. When anyone walks to the kitchen at any time in the afternoon, Missy goes too, just to see if she might get fed early.

She builds relationship. She gives out lots of love during the day to those who feed her. I think maybe she’s just buttering us up!

She expresses appreciation. She purrs and gives out love to those who help her reach her goal.

This is all good, but sometimes she’s a pest.

In fact, we’ve started calling her “Pesty Cat” because she ALWAYS wants to be fed.

This is a danger for many nonprofit fundraising folks – always showing up with their hand out for money.

If that’s how you approach fundraising, your donors will likely get tired of it.  Make sure that you ask often enough for a gift, but not too often.  It’s a fine line to walk, but one your donors will appreciate if you can get it right.

If you want to take it a step further, ask your donors how often and when they’d like to be asked for a gift.  It puts your donor in charge of the relationship and they’ll be much happier.  You’ll likely see your results go up and your expenses go down.

Wondering how to do that?  Survey your donors and simply ask them what they want.

Gotta go – Missy is ready for her dinner!

  1. Your post made me smile, Sandy.
    And you give us good reminders that only focusing on what others can do for us is only a one-sided relationship. It’s also great to have a goal of learning something new about the donor or volunteer you are talking to and building an authentic, two-way relationship that has value on both sides.

  2. I love it! The title alone makes this a must-read. And how true, if only fund raisers would heed Missy’s appreciation and goal orientation, they would find more satisfaction in their efforts. Go Missy!

  3. I am a dog lover, but I will hand it to you – that is a great lessons your Missy is teaching.

    I echo your advice to ask donors when they want to be asked. In many charity auctions, great repeat donations are made when the asker took time to talk with the donor and find out what would work best in the future.

    Great post, Sandy.

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