Q: I have a new boss, and even though I’ve been on the job for three years, she’s tossing around terms I’ve never heard. She’s always talking about donor lifecycle and awareness ladders. Now she wants us to go through our entire database and categorize people according to their solicitation readiness. She’s terrifying and judgmental and I’m scared to ask her to explain what she wants. What does she want???
A: First things first, let’s talk about your fear of asking for further direction. You have to. I’ve got your back, and I’m going to explain the concepts that she’s talking about, but I want to be really clear: Development isn’t a science. There’s no universally agreed set of terminology, and there’s no single way to format or categorize or rank or parse anything. If you want to give your boss what she wants, you have to ask her about it.
But we can make sure that you’re asking intelligent, informed questions. Here’s MY version of thinking through donor evolution (which is a modification of the marketing concept of an “awareness ladder.”) Read more