Customer or Community Member

If people talk about your institution as “being a community” (or words to that effect) and yet, you don’t consistently ask people to give of themselves and their resources, you are only talking about community, you don’t have community.

Many institutions behave toward their constituents as if they were customers, not community members.  Customers are people with whom you transact business.  Value and exchange are at the heart of the customer relationship.   Community members, on the other hand, are encouraged to give, share, and care for one another, even when the exchange is measurably unequal.  That’s what “being a community” means.

Our job as advancement professionals is to invite more people to become community members, helping each to re-discover the joy of giving, sharing, and caring.

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