PENELOPE BURK understands donors and what they want more deeply than just about anyone in the business. In the last fifteen years, she and her innovative firm, Cygnus Applied Research, Inc., have conducted surveys and research studies with more than a quarter-million American donors. She has reached back into their lives to find out about the first time they gave, what motivates their philanthropy now, what their greatest and most frustrating experiences in giving are, and what their dreams are for their philanthropic future. Penelope’s contributions to the fundraising industry can be best summed up as a long list of “firsts”:
- She was the first fundraising author to back up her ideas and solutions with evidence from donors
- The first to bring the problem of Donor Attrition to the attention of the fundraising industry, pointing out how much money not-for-profits were losing by failing to hold onto their donors
- The first to offer an evidence-based formula for keeping donors giving longer and inspiring them to make more generous contributions
- The first to document what leadership volunteers do best and how they can raise more money for their organizations by saying thank you the donor-centered way
- The first to document the real impact of the high rate of turnover among professional fundraisers and the first to bring innovative solutions to the table to keep fundraisers loyal, raising more money, and still leaving the office at 5 o’clock!
Penelope is the author of the fundraising classic, DonorCentered Fundraising and she has just published a completely updated and substantially expanded second edition containing all-new research with donors. She has also written two other books as well as more than fifty seminars and dramatic plays.
(See summit schedule for October 31 and November 1.)