Are you killing polar bears?

Polar bear mother (Ursus maritimus) and twin cubs of the year hunting on the pack ice, Svalbard Archipelago, Arctic NorwayA while ago I was looking after my god-daughter for the weekend. I was helping her clean her teeth before bed. I helped her to get the toothpaste on the brush and I turned on the tap so that when she was ready she could rinse the toothpaste away.

She told me off for leaving the tap running before she needed it. I was told off because if I left the tap running,


Wow – I was impressed at the big picture thinking and ashamed to be contributing to the early demise of the polar bears.

It made me consider how good (or bad) we are at explaining the difference our donors make in plain and simple language. How many donors understand the difference their donation, volunteering time, campaign action or adjustments to daily life, like turning off taps, makes?

Connecting yourself, your team, your whole organisation and your donors with the difference you all make is key to successful fundraising. And this applies whether they are eight or 80, after all the future of our world is in the hands of the philanthropists, business drivers and change makers of tomorrow.

The recent proud to be a fundraiser campaign from the Institute of Fundraising, highlights the importance of and gives practical tips on how to ensure that you inspire your donors about the difference they make. If you are an IoF member, you can download the Proud to be a fundraiser toolkit for free here.

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