Fundraising From Yourself
Lack of emotion
You had your transforming emotional moment about your cause a long time ago. (Either that or you're a mercenary type who doesn't need an emotional connection.) Since then — well, the honeymoon is over. You've settled in to make the relationship stable and prosperous.
There's nothing wrong with that (though if something doesn't rekindle your passion now and then, you're probably in trouble). But fundraising that speaks to the everyday, make-it-work mind-set is too flat, rational and antiseptic to work.
Lack of donor focus
You are properly proud of your work and your organization. In your eyes, the facts about your organization's excellence, your superior methodology and your glorious history are all utterly compelling. It just isn't compelling for donors. Remember, donors don't give because of who you are; they give because of who they are. That's why effective fundraising is all about donors, not us.
The working world demands a certain level of dignity and decorum. We comport ourselves as calm, polite, unflappable professionals. Our documents are clean, clear and totally straightforward. We get good at that. We value it.
But fundraising isn't part of the business world. It belongs to a messier, more passionate world that includes love letters, ransom notes, pleas for mercy and outbreaks of religious fervor. The standards of professionalism are just a roadblock in that context.
It takes a real self-abnegation to do fundraising right. It takes discipline and focus to put aside your own preferences instead of donors'. Fundraising from yourself is the easy, feel-good path.
But it won't feel so good when the zombies of failure start gnawing on your revenue. FS