Educating Donors Is Huge

“In order to be a successful non-profit or in order to be revered as a reputable charity in Montreal, transparency has to be huge and it has to be pivotal. Transparency not just to your donors but also to your supporters and also to the populations that you support. So if someone’s gonna offer you any type of monetary figure, it’s important to educate them on where those dollars are going. They also might have some ideas as to where they’d like those dollars to go.

So as an example at Summit School, where I run the foundation, a donor can come to me sometimes and say, I really want, actually, it just happened the other day. Donors have come to me and said, I want to give X amount of money to our floral program. We have a beautiful program where we teach our students how to make flower arrangements. It’s everything that they need. It’s calm, it’s colorful, it’s repetitive.

We’re able to really give these kids the opportunity to shine and create job opportunities for them in the future. So I’ve had donors come to me and say, I want my money to go to here. Not that we don’t need the money but those dollars might be better suited going towards a new piece of adaptive technology for the classroom. Those dollars might be better suited towards some new reading material. It might be better suited towards some technology for our research center.

Educating and having those heart-to-heart conversations with those donors about how you can really bring the most value to their gift is huge. You have to be honest. You have to be genuine. You have to be sincere. And at the same time just like any business, you need to let people know. You need to let your clients know what you need in order to survive, in order to make ends meet. You need to put food on the table.”