5 Myths of Evergreen Philanthropy: Part 1
So, what’s “evergreen philanthropy”? It’s investors that keep on giving. And giving. And giving more.
“Does that really happen,” you say? Yes, it does. And yet, when asked how you make this a reality, leaders of nonprofits 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 first of my top five:
Myth No.1: It’s All About the Cause
Nonprofit leaders are well-motivated people. They want to do good in the world. Their goals and visions are laudable even as they are far-reaching and expansive. Nothing is wrong with this.
When they reach out to potential investors—some call these “donors”—they’re eager to share their cause. It’s what they spend their time thinking about. What they work for every day.
This is where the myth begins. Nonprofit leaders too often operate from the assumption that philanthropists—those with resources who want to invest for the well-being of other people—will be as passionate about their cause as they are.
You see, philanthropists are people just like us. They have their own set of dreams and aspirations. They, too, have core values they seek to realize in their lives. And it’s on these that philanthropists have their focus.
Attracting evergreen support from investors, then, isn’t about making the most convincing passionate case for your cause, it’s offering your potential investors the opportunity to fulfill theirs. Magic happens when you show you potential supporters how investing in you will fulfill them.
Principle 1 of The Eight Principles™ is "Donors are the Drivers®." Donors drive philanthropy with their visions and values, not their money. And make no mistake, they are in the driver’s seat.
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.
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