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Donor Participation Project

Transforming Aging in America: Why Every Gift Matters

The AARP Foundation is on a mission to eradicate senior poverty and help older Americans live more meaningful lives. According to its VP of Major Gifts, Franklin Guerrero, the nonprofit is uniquely positioned to drive meaningful change for seniors across the country through its housing, healthcare, income, and social connection programs.

However, the foundation relies on the generosity of donors to fulfill its mission. As Guerrero shared, fundraising is a “numbers game” that requires persistence and building strong relationships. But when donors and organizations align around a shared vision, the impact can be transformational.

Every donation to the AARP Foundation directly supports vulnerable older adults in need. Gifts allow the foundation to expand its programs, reach more seniors, and move closer to ending senior poverty in America. Guerrero stressed that the nonprofit’s national scope and expertise in senior issues enable it to create substantial positive change, if given the resources.

Guerrero advice for nonprofit fundraisers is twofold: treat fundraising as a numbers game and focus on connecting donors’ passions with your mission.

In his words, “Nothing substitutes the phone and the one-on-one, in-person conversation.” Taking the time to personally engage donors helps build trust in the organization and a desire to support the cause financially.

For the AARP Foundation, building those relationships has been key to gaining donors’ support in fulfilling its vision – a future where no senior lives in poverty. Guerrero emphasized that transformative gifts can “rejuvenate the entire American economy” by enabling seniors to remain active consumers as they age. Every donation brings that vision closer to reality.

In summary, the key insights for fundraisers are: success is a numbers game, connect with donors personally, and help donors see the transformational impact of their gifts. By following this advice and maintaining a clear vision, nonprofits can gain the resources they need to drive powerful change.

View the full recording of this session in our Resource Library.

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