The Nonprofit Sector’s Most Pressing Issues: The C-Level Exec’s Point of View, Part 3
Tandon also said fundraisers must change the dialogue — start with who we are. “Public charities by definition are not beneficiary-centric or donor-centric,” he said. “We’re a bridge between the donor and the beneficiary. Don’t think in one of those camps. You are a means to an end.” He said fundraisers have to be balanced — how do you maximize change in the hearts and minds of donors and in the communities you serve?
To wrap up the session, the panel addressed some of the other major issues from management’s viewpoint.
- Cutting staff in bad times: “Don’t dwell on cutting staff — only do it when you have to.”
- Look for other ways to save money — no $30 dinners.
- Try donor visits — see if a donor is willing to have six to 10 people over for dinner and have a face-to-face meeting with them. “Face-to-face is the best way to expand your donor base.”
- Get dedicated, high-quality donors, and ask them to invite people to a meeting.
- “Strive for excellence in all that we do.”
- Innovation — hard times are the best times to innovate.
- Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist in 2005 — the pace of innovation is escalating exponentially.
- “Don’t be dogmatic. Test and try things; hypothesize.”
- Have an orientation program to explain fundraising, how it works, etc.
- Be proud to ask for money for your organization.
- Read ”Tiny Essentials of Fundraising.”
- “You can’t cut yourself to greatness. We have to grow ourselves to greatness.”
Aloma ended things with the final word: “We all need to remember that we have to inspire passion in our staff — our work is work of passion. You cannot think of you. Think of yourself as providers of dreams.”