Should Charities enable “donor empowerment”?

Posted on Friday 18 November 2005

Inspired by the Kettle Foods story, Jeff Brooks (who blogs about fundraising) asks whether it might not make sense to make use of the empowerment idea for fundraising, i.e. to transfer power to donors – the “customers” in the fundraising world, so to speak.

His suggestion: Since this already does happen on a bigger scale – mega-donors who donate massively often have a say about the final outcome (Jeff’s example are people who donate enough to have a building put up), why not adapt it to smaller scale donations as well? Donors get to decide (vote on?) what they want to fund in a third world development project, or an orchestra allows donors to create a concert programme (negative effects on musician morale notwithstanding…).

By the way, the post’s title is great, too – could be the consumer empowerment mantra: “If THEY build it, they will come.”

So, interesting thoughts, and the discussion has already begun.