I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again

I’m going to make a bold statement: knowing your supporters is the most important aspect of nonprofit communications and fundraising. I’m not trying to be hyperbolic… I truly believe this. It’s the foundation of everything you do. The who, what, when, where, and how all flow from this hallmark of public speaking “knowing your audience.”

Virtuous has harped on this over and over on the blog. We’ve talked about how your supporters want – no, expect – to be known, the story of John “the Faceless” Doe and why he stopped supporting your organization, and how knowing your donors can inspire generosity. Getting to know your supports was even a major theme in our ebook Introduction to the Modern Nonprofit CRM.

But “knowing” is just the first step. It’s what you do with this knowledge that’s truly important.

I frequent the Veritus Group’s blog and loved the the post How Silos Abuse the Donor from a few weeks back. Though it’s a little more nuanced, it takes things one step further and tells the story of how one nonprofit caused a lot of heartache (and harm) by “knowing” their supporter, but not letting that inform and direct their interactions.

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