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May 16, 2017

The Power of Anonymity

I have a daughter graduating from high school this month. Her class is heading for a mission trip to serve an orphanage in the Dominican Republic for a week. For her to go on this trip, she had to raise her own support of $1,500, or pay for it out of her savings.

Honestly, I was hoping that she could raise half of the money, and then we’d kick in the other half.
So, she started her own GoFundMe campaign, and to my utter shock, in the first day she hit her fundraising goal. Apparently, there were a couple of anonymous donors who made some big gifts.

I don’t know who these people are, but I am grateful to them.

And because I don’t know who these people are (they might even be reading this blog) I am motivated to be grateful to everyone I talk to. Because, I just don’t know.

That got me thinking. In my line of work, we go to great lengths to segment donors based on their past or potential giving. And while I have oodles of data that show this is an effective utilitarian approach, I wonder if this approach does cause us to curtail our gratitude?

I take these kinds of questions seriously. It’s one of the reasons I love fundraising. We are always struggling to optimize fundraising with a balance of art and science. And while we at Analytical Ones always think your decision should be anchored in the data, they must also be anchored in gratitude.

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