Donors Aren’t an ATM Machine

“Tim has a rich background in pastoral ministry and years of successful experience in dealing with major donors. But he did not spring from the earth fully formed; he has learned a lot “the hard way.” One of his best qualities is his willingness to confront his own failures and learn from them, to reveal his experiences and share wisdom through them. His candor is refreshing, and his insights are valuable.”  – E. Dale Berkey, President, BBS & Associates

A young man called out to me across the lobby of our church after the service one Sunday morning. “Tim! Tim! I need to talk to you!” He made his way through the crowd and was out of breath when he got to me. Taking me by the elbow, he pointed out a new attendee.

“His name is Jim,” he said breathlessly, “and he has a lot of money. You need to talk to him.”

I just smiled. My young friend didn’t get it. He pictured me as a fundraising machine and donors as fund-giving machines. But to pursue donations with that philosophy is exhausting and demeaning. Having tried it in the early days, knowing no better, I had found myself in a career death spiral, and deeply unhappy. I wasn’t going to talk to the newcomer at our church because he had a lot of money; I was going to welcome him as a new friend.

My donors need relationship and ministry far more than I need their money. If we don’t see ministry to the donor as our higher calling, our donors are destined to be mere objects in our lives and in our organizations — and the connection between us and them will be sadly unsatisfying.

“The impact and implementation of this practical yet thoroughly effective strategy has produced hundreds of millions of dollars for organizations in this country and around the world,” Tim explained. “More importantly, it’s fed the hungry, it’s educated the poor, it’s rescued young women from sex trafficking, it’s given hope where there was no hope, it’s transformed communities, and it’s created sustainability and help for those who are on the edge of life itself.”

Beautifully practical, straightforward wisdom for dealing personally with your ministry’s highest-potential donors … from a man who has spent his life there! This extraordinary book offers a refreshing new way of thinking and interacting with major contributors and potential major contributors to your ministry – not simply in terms of “fundraising” but as a ministry to them.

Donors Are People Too is required reading for any nonprofit development professional who wants to develop a world-class major donor program. Tim’s practical advice and timely stories will help every nonprofit fundraising executive and staff learn how to build relationships with donors.

Purchase here: $19.95

About Tim

Timothy L. Smith is known as a leading expert in building the capacity of Non Profit Organizations. He has over 35 years of experience with Non Profit Organizations in Administration, Management and Fund Development. He has held a variety of roles in executive leadership for mega size organizations. Tim has advised numerous NPO’s in Leadership, Organization and Major Funding development. He is widely recognized as a leading authority in these fields.

His book, Donors are People Too is required reading for many NPO’s committed to a ministry based philosophy when developing a major funding program.

Currently he serves as Chief Development Officer for Museum of the Bible.


Suggested Tweets

Start having real relationships where you invest in people. – @TimSmithMOTB #dapt [Tweet This]

It is never about the donation, it is always about the donor. – @TimSmithMOTB #dapt [Tweet This]

Donors need relationship and ministry far more than we need their money. – @TimSmithMOTB #dapt [Tweet This]

It’s possible that a person may give eventually, but that will be a by-product, not the end-product, of the relationship. – @TimSmithMOTB [Tweet This]