5 Myths of Evergreen Philanthropy: Part 2
So, what’s “evergreen philanthropy”? It’s investors who keep on giving. And giving. And giving more.
“Does that really happen?” you say. Yes, it does. And yet, when asked how to make this a reality, nonprofit leaders usually offer a series of predictable myths. Creating the situation where a philanthropic investor will become “evergreen” isn’t all that hard—or unusual. It’s often counterintuitive, however.
Those myths? Here is the second of my top five:
Myth No. 2: It’s About Quid Pro Quo
Nonprofit leaders almost always see philanthropy as a transaction—an exchange of resources. They’re convinced that philanthropists give to get. Recognition. Community favor. Preferred tax treatment. A charity auction bauble.
They believe this because they see philanthropy as an extraction—taking something. This belief is the primary driver for the anxiety that most people feel when they are asked to “fundraise.” It’s something far different. Years and years of research confirm that philanthropists are indeed looking for something. But it’s not a quid pro quo.
Philanthropists, especially those who become evergreen, see giving as a relationship—an ongoing relationship. They give for reasons, which are intensely personal. Those reasons are almost never material. They give to realize their personal values for self-actualization. Nonprofits that understand this appreciate that when they ask for an investment, they’re offering something of far greater value than the financial resource a donor offers.
When nonprofit leaders take the time to develop meaningful, bilateral relationships with those who invest in their cause, they discover the power and freedom of evergreen philanthropy. They also make some very strong friends and allies.
To your fundraising success!
Larry believes in the power of relationships and the power of philanthropy to create a better place and transform lives.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles. His mission is to give nonprofits and philanthropists alike the opportunity to achieve their shared visions. With more than 25 years of experience in charitable fundraising and philanthropy, Larry knows that financial sustainability and scalability is possible for any nonprofit organization or charitable cause and is dependent on neither size nor resources but instead with the commitment to create a shared vision.
Larry is the author of the award-wining book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising." He is the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2010 Outstanding Development Executive and has ranked in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the United States by the Wall Street Business Network.
Larry is the creator of the revolutionary online fundraising training platform, The Oracle League.
Reach Larry on social media at: