Fundraising Award for Donors (5/2013)

A few weeks ago Jörg Eisfeld-Reschke wrote a remarkable blog about the shortcomings of the annual German Fundraising Prize awarded by the German Fundraising Association and pleaded for a new concept ( .

The fundraising award is a nice and important recognition for fundraisers and went so far to many worthy winners. The fundraising prize is a very good idea!

At the same time we are, I think , aware of the shortcomings of the prize in its current form. The fundraising prizes in the categories “Honorary Award Lifetime Achievement”, ” Best Campaign ” and ” Best Innovation ” aim – apart from the first category – on short-term success and lead in particular to applications from service providers. Overall, the number of applications remains very low. Neither the selection of the jury nor the selection of the winners follow – as far as I know – transparent criteria .

Above all, I ask myself one thing: Why do we honor ourselves and not those who would really deserve to be honored – our donors ? It is them who finance a playroom in the hospital or follow our vision of re-building the Berlin Palace again . The donors are the ones who help our many campaigns to be successful. Again, we fundraisers should remember that humility suits us well. Without donors there would be no fundraiser, but without us fundraisers there would be very well donors.

Therefore, I would like to propose a fundraising award, which takes fundraisers AND donors into account and focuses on people not instruments. I could imagine , for example, the following categories:

  • Donor of the Year (criteria: amount of donations , creativity of donations , sustainability of donations, promotion of philanthropy / third sector / civil society)
  • Fundraiser of the Year (criteria: fundraising success, creativity of fundraising , sustainability of fundraising promotion of philanthropy / third sector / civil society)
  • Honorary Award Lifetime Achievement, donors (criteria : see “Donor of the Year”)
  • Honorary Award Lifetime Achievement, fundraisers (criteria : see ” Fundraiser of the Year”)

Equivalently, the jury should be composed equally by donors and fundraisers . Such a fundraising award recognizes the achievements of individual donors and fundraisers , emphasizes relationship building and sustainable success and points out that donors and fundraisers are one team that wants to reach common goals.

An award does not primarily serve the honoring of individuals (this of course as well) , but the fostering of good ideas and deeds. Let us in this spirit re-think the German Fundraising Award.