Who Matters Most? Beneficiary, NPO, or Donor?

Photo by riley eva

Who’s the most important person in a fundraiser?

Is it the beneficiary, the fundraiser/nonprofit, or the donor?

A very strong case can be made for the beneficiary. After all, they/it are the primary raison d’être, the whole purpose for the nonprofit, much less the fundraiser.

In fact, great fundraisers tell the beneficiary’s story to the donor in a strong emotional way. We bond with the beneficiary, in empathy, triumph, anger or another emotion. It’s what triggers the donation.

Another compelling argument could be made for the donor. Perhaps they are the reason for the fundraiser. We need their money!

To do that, we need to address their investment concerns. Is it a worthy cause (emotionally compelling story)? Remember, appeal to the heart first!

What will the program do? What’s the theory of change? How is the money being allocated within the nonprofit?

I don’t have a problem with either the beneficiary or the donor as the most important stakeholder.

Yet, why do 90% of fundraisers focus on the nonprofit itself? This represents a huge communications error that places the nonprofit in a position of organizational need rather than serving its targeted area of societal benefit.

What do you think?