Nonprofit Fundraising

Fundraising Tip — Mr. and MRS.?

How is your donor data?

Dan Hanley
2 min readJun 3
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 they could be busy or I made a mistake with the email address or maybe there is another donor who is a Dan and Mrs.

I also think they can do better.

So can all of us. It’s simple really. We need to take the time to make sure our data is correct. That ensures we’re working towards real donor love.

I also think that even if there is a Mrs. for your donor, that honoring their spouse with their name is much better, much more in relationship with them, than using Mrs. Just something to think about. Perhaps that is something for another article.

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.



Dan Hanley

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