What Is A Gift?

We use the word everyday, but what does it mean?  What, really, is a gift?

Recently, Seth Godin blogging about Gifts, misunderstood, stated the following:

A gift costs the giver something real. It might be cash (enough that we feel the pinch) but more likely it involves a sacrifice or a risk or an emotional exposure. A true gift is a heartfelt connection, something that changes both the giver and the recipient.

When we engage with donors, do we recognize — do we really embrace — the notion that their giving will change them as much if not more than it will change our organizations and those we serve?

If we did, we would view our work more as a mission, and less as a job.

If we did, we would grow our donor base, not because it happens to be an annual goal, but because we want more people to have the experience.

If we did, we wouldn’t concern ourselves with false notion of “donor fatigue.”  We would create more opportunities and ways for donors to give.

Back in the early 1900’s, Thomas Gonser, who was the founder GGTS, stated he was not a fundraiser.  Instead he was an educator – educating people so that they better understood the ways in which they could invest in the organization and in their own lives.

He understood then what Seth Godin reminds us of today:  a true gift provides grand benefits to all involved.


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