All donors need logical information about an organization to make giving decisions. Women need to hear facts and statistics in order to trust that their gift is in good hands. But adding communication that evokes empathy will deepen your conversations with women, leading to stronger relationships and an increased likelihood of giving.
Integrating women across your fundraising processes is not an all or nothing act; you can start from where you are today by taking small steps. Declaring a clear vision can be a powerful tool and first step.
In the last three decades, many university advancement departments thoughtfully designed dedicated women’s “programs” or “initiatives.” These efforts responded to women’s preferences to connect and collaborate, as well as to be engaged before they are asked. Some resembled giving circles, while others focused on placing women in leadership positions or on connecting alumnae. However, a common thread united – and limited – these programs: they all were siloed, niche programs that artificially separated women’s giving from larger development efforts.
How is women’s giving behavior different from male donors? 5 insights about what makes women donate.
Susan entered a new leadership position. While successful in her previous roles, she struggled in this one. She didn’t consider that new leadership practices are required for new situations.
A nonprofit colleague recently told me: “I know that we need to be paying attention to women – I don’t need more facts. Just tell me HOW to do it.” There is no magic bullet, but you can start by adapting your fundraising behaviors. Start with discernment.