INVOLVED vs. ENGAGED – What’s the difference?

Have you ever donated money to a cause?  What about given money to someone who is going on a mission trip?  Hopefully you have, and hopefully you felt good about doing it.  You were INVOLVED!

Let’s consider another example.  Have you ever participated in the cause to which you donated?  Have you ever been the one leaving your home country to go bless others in a distant land?  If you answered yes, you know what you experienced is much more than when you provided assistance for someone else to go.  You were ENGAGED!

What about your donors?  Are they INVOLVED or ENGAGED?  This is an important question to ask, and one that you should really ponder.


You know if someone gives money to your nonprofit they are involved.  You hope they have good things to say about your organization to their friends and family. You hope they tell people about all of the great things being done with donations from people like them.  But, are they getting the full picture?  Has the curtain been completely pulled back for them to really see what it is your organization does every day with the resources we have been given?



What if you looked for opportunities to plug the donor into your day-to-day services provided?  Whether you are running a community foundation or a drug/alcohol treatment facility, there are ways for your donors to participate.  I am reminded of what Wayne Elsey did during his tenure with Soles4Souls.  They began asking their donors if they would like to travel with the staff to the countries in which they would be delivering shoes.  This had such a large impact on those who went, they created a separate division called Travel4Souls and it continues today.

We have all heard things from our friends about the great new restaurant that just opened and how wonderful it was, but until we go ourselves we haven’t really experienced it.  Your donors are the same way.  Until they participate in the mission, they haven’t seen the entire picture.

FEEDBACK: What are you doing to ENGAGE your donors?  Has it been successful? (Please leave your comments below)


  1. […] for nonprofits addressed the difference between involving supporters or engaging supporters. Read it. It applies to faith […]

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