Nonprofit Fundraising

Fundraising Tip — Mr. and MRS.?

How is your donor data?

Dan Hanley
2 min readJun 3, 2023


Author on a walk, thinking about donor data. Photo credit: Author

In nonprofit fundraising, we hear it all of the time: talk with your donors about their personal information.

How do they want to be thanked? Is this the correct spelling of their name? Are they married? Who is the main donor?

Are we thanking the right person(s)? I’m sure we have all heard the horror stories. And some of us have experienced them.

We recently received an appeal sent to Mr. and Mrs. Dan Hanley. It came from an organization we have donated to for 10+ years. That means we are donors. It would appear to any data search that we are life-long donors.

When I say we, I mean me and my husband. There is no Mrs. here, never has been. I have no clue how they decided there was a Mrs. We love their mission and their impact. I emailed and cleared up the mistake.

No response.

Note: this is no way to treat donors. This is how organizations lose donors. And yes, I know. I know…



Dan Hanley

I write about nonprofits, fundraising, recruiting, self-care. Human rights, domestic violence, borders, and refugee focused. Sober. Vegan.