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Lessons Learned from Stephen King...and His Wife

Image by Olessya from Pixabay

Stephen King… and his Wife… can teach us a great deal about donor relations.

Recently, another tweet went viral, and this time it wasn’t from a member of the US Government. It was from famous thriller author Stephen King, and it involved his wife, Tabitha, and their charitable giving.

In case you haven’t seen it – here is the tweet heard around the charitable world:

And here is Tabitha's brilliant response:

I’ve long been screaming and hollering about this in donor relations and fundraising circles. I even wrote a blog about it - but here I go again.

We have to stop overlooking a woman’s role in their relationship. We have to stop overlooking women as a vital source of philanthropic giving. Check your greetings and salutations. Check your misunderstanding of women without spouses. Visit them. Understand that women make 76% of the giving decisions in the household or jointly.

We need to disregard the way we have always done it and eschew what may cause us more work to change these “archaic standards” but if now is not the time, when is?

It’s not just about feminism or women’s power. It’s about doing the right thing. It’s about knowing your donors and not ignoring the fact that women are decision makers, influencers and charitable forces for good. It’s time. Folks, it’s beyond time.

Whether you work somewhere very traditional or modern, it’s time to ask your donors HOW they want to be addressed. Imagine if your first impression on someone was this easy to fix and you constantly ignored it? It would be like taking a vegan donor to a steakhouse. You wouldn’t do that - so why do we allow this?

Need evidence to back up our claims? The Lily school has you covered.

If donor relations is a profession where 98% of the practitioners are women, then why is this an issue that continues to elude us? Let’s work on this together and eliminate this short sided behavior!

What has your organization done to combat this issue? How have you updated your processes to appropriately address and recognize your donors? I'd love to hear from shops who have gone through this process - please share your stories in the comments.




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