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Jos Stelling told newspaper Trouw about his 40-year relationship with his beloved. A relationship based on friendship – perhaps the highest possible form of love – according to the interviewee. But as Jos continued talking about love he also said something that is a lesson to all fundraisers:
“All other deeds that seem loving often have an ulterior motive. I recently took a couple of steps backwards to give a beggar two euros. That may sound generous, but it is not at all, helping that beggar makes me feel good. Pure self-interest.”
This is what I want to make clear to my professional colleagues during my workshops and training courses on fundraising. I could not have expressed this universal rule in fundraising better than how Jos did.
I outline to students in my workshops their role as fundraiser: make your donors feel good. But how do you do that? It is important that you follow the following formula:
“Wow! Someone now has a better life thanks to me.”
Make your donor the hero of the story and make your donor feel good, which in turn makes them willing to give more.
I always end my workshops with a slide showing a smiley. The text reads:
“You are in the business of selling happiness to your donors.”
Fulfil this role and you will become a much better fundraiser.
Enjoy selling happiness.
PS I have a free Smiley badge for fundraisers who want to sell happiness to their donors. Just send me an email with your address details and I will be happy to send you a (free) smiley badge. Wear it with pride!
Bas van Breemen