The times suck. No doubt about it.

Here in fundraisingland, the virus and economic collapse are imposing a tsunami of new challenges to the business of keeping causes afloat.

But there are upsides. And one bright spot we’re seeing is a renewed interest in really paying attention to donors. I’m not talking about major donors – they’re used to MGOs who’ve memorized their favorite ice cream flavor and their cat’s birthday. I’m talking about run of the mill everyday donors, the ones who are most likely to get the ‘ATM treatment.’

All of a sudden, organizations are producing content that donors actually want to consume.

Audubon has created a cool ‘Joy of Birds’ survival kit filled with activities for kids, cool videos, baby bird oics and other diversions.

WWF and other organizations are distributing learning materials and immersive activity guides for kids who are stuck at home.

Everytown for Gun Safety distributed a guide for victims of domestic violence, a major source of gun deaths.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium held daily live ‘medit-ocean’ mindfulness sessions with stunning undersea video.

I would argue that this is the sort of material organizations should have been prioritizing all along. This cannot be said often enough: Donor do NOT give to you because your organization is awesome. They give because THEY are awesome and you are an instrument for their care and compassion.

Donors donate out of deeply held values, out of love, out of compassion. It’s so rare to see organizations feed that love and provide joy. This is a trend that richly deserves to survive the pandemic..