Someone called me a “donor-whisperer” last week.
While I was complimented, that term has always felt a little… off… and I finally figured out why.
A “whisperer” sounds like it’s an innate skill. It sounds like a talent that a person was born with, that they probably can’t teach, for something that very few people can do.
Being a “whisperer” also seems a little manipulative, like you’re using a talent to make people do something they didn’t want to do.
None of those things are true.
What I do in fundraising is teachable, and almost anyone can do it.
Instead of “whisperer,” the term I’d use is “pointer.”
Because what I do is point out things and let donors react.
I help organizations point out things that are happening in the world. I help organizations point out the concrete ways a donor can change the world by giving to them. I help organizations point out the concrete ways the donor has changed the world by giving to them.
There’s no manipulation. Everything is true. There’s no secret skill. It’s just a series of choices for what to point at.
Your fundraising can point at what donors are most interested in… or not. How donors react is up to them. (Because remember: fundraising doesn’t create tension in donors, it reveals tension they already hold.)
Ultimately, every post on this blog is an attempt to share what we’ve learned about what to point your donors’ attention towards if you’d like to raise more money and do more good. It’s a learnable skill and you can do it.