A Fundraiser’s Perspective on the Value of Donor Trust

Donor Handshake

Guest Blog by Judy Johnson, Director of Development, The Council on Recovery

At a charitable event recently, I was visiting with other guests when the topic of careers came up. I shared that I was in fundraising, and her reaction was immediate, “How can donors know who to trust anymore?”

Judy Johnson Headshot
Judy Johnson

As both a fundraiser and a donor, this question is of particular importance to me, and – admittedly – I’ll take any opportunity to share my passion and perspective on philanthropy. In my view, philanthropy is about connection. The decision to give is deeply personal, and whether we give twenty dollars or twenty thousand dollars, our gifts symbolize our support of and belief in an organization’s mission. We want to know our gift makes a difference and that our hard-earned dollars, once given, are wisely used to advance a shared goal.


In my work on the “other” side of the philanthropic fence, recognition of the personal aspect of giving is paramount. As a fundraiser, if I did not share our supporters’ belief in The Council’s mission, I certainly could not justify asking others to join. Without integrity, consideration, and gratitude, fundraising can quickly transform from a positive experience to a cringe-worthy one. Knowing that The Council delivers the highest quality care makes it possible for me to approach our supporters, confident in the knowledge that our work produces incredible, life-changing outcomes. What’s more, I know that The Council is a wise steward of charitable support, stretching our resources to deliver on our promise to those we serve and to those who make it possible for us to serve.

In a time where donors are increasingly concerned about how their charitable contributions are used, and stories abound of once-respected organizations mismanaging donor support, it’s important to me to be a part of an organization that our community can trust. Philanthropy matters. It picks up where private enterprise and government bureaucracy leave off, ensuring crucial services to vulnerable individuals and families who may otherwise fall through the cracks.

For those of you who give – whether it be your time, talent, or treasure – let me say thank you. Although I haven’t had the opportunity to get to know each of you personally just yet, I am sincerely interested in each of you. Your story, your passion, and your generosity breathe life into our work, and your willingness to give and to share is an endless well of inspiration to me. At the very heart of philanthropy is a deep and abiding belief in our shared humanity. The Council on Recovery would not be what it is today without a community of supporters, willing to share their humanity in service to our mission. We thank you for your contributions, for your service, and most importantly, for your trust.

For more information about instilling your trust in The Council on Recovery through contributions of your time, talent, and funds, please contact Judy Johnson directly at 281.200.9339, email jjohnson@councilonrecovery.org, or Contact Us.