Avoiding Transactional Terms in Fundraising
by: Richard Perry
There are two words in fundraising that cause my stomach to tighten every time I hear them: “prospect” and “annual” (as in “annual fund”). These two words live together in the minds, discourse and language of thousands of fundraisers.
I don’t know how their use got started. I suspect that it was before the age of enlightenment. Because enlightened folks have discovered that donors are real live human beings with hopes and dreams for a better planet; people who want a relationship with a nonprofit that does the important things they care about, rather than having a relationship based on transactions and money.
Take the word prospect. What does it mean? According to Dictionary.com: