A Dream Realized
Today, I’m breaking from my usual practice of recounting a real-life example from the field. I want to share with you a matter that is intensely personal. A dream long-held finally is being realized.
It’s the dream of providing every organization the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
I’ve been in the field of philanthropy for 28 years. I’ve served as a volunteer, field officer, division manager and as a C-level executive in four institutions of higher learning.
I was introduced to the profession as a director for Ketchum, one of the storied consulting firms whose leadership founded the American Association of Fundraising Counsel, now The Giving Institute™.
More than any other, it was my tenure at Ketchum that shaped how I view philanthropy and its flip side, fundraising. While there, I was privileged to have worked alongside many of the legends of our field.
Prior to Ketchum, I was in a Fortune 500 environment where I served in positions of project management and strategic planning. This, too, has influenced how I do my work—and how I counsel others.
During my tenure at Ketchum, I quickly came to appreciate that being successful in fundraising is about attitude and perspective. Skill certainly plays a role, but it is in understanding and applying the strategic paradigm where success lies. This is how Ketchum counseled its many clients.
Put simply, the organizations that achieve consistent, growing success in fundraising do so because they have internalized the fundamental principles governing fundraising and have adopted an organizational paradigm that is consistent with them.
They don’t buy fundraising systems or recipes, nor do they invest in process-driven approaches, which promise blockbuster success in “six easy steps.” These organizations know their success comes from the right perspectives, applied consistently. The results speak for themselves.
I’ve known for a long time that being successful in fundraising isn’t about size. Nothing about successful fundraising is size dependent.
Achieving success isn’t about spending bushels of money on fundraising tools or mobilizing a squadron of expert development officers. And it certainly isn’t about obtaining the “secret sauce” of the latest data algorithm.
Access to this counsel always has been the limiter in acquiring the strategic approach. There are only so many top-drawer consultants, and the price point prevents all but a handful of organizations from retaining them.
Even if you can afford the very best counsel, you’re limited to periodic visits or the occasional seminar or workshop.
My dream always has been to overcome the barriers of both accessibility and availability. To give the leaders of even the smallest, most modest organizations the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
Now we’ve done it. Technology has made it possible.
On Tuesday, The Eight Principles™ team launched a platform, which makes the principles of strategic fundraising and paradigm concepts available to any nonprofit organization at any time, in any place.
We call it The Oracle League™.
It’s an online platform with interactive, on-demand, video-based courses (MOOCs for the techies!). They’re even mobile-friendly.
We’ve paired these with on-demand podcasts of interviews with cutting-edge nonprofit leaders, volunteers and philanthropists who are making it happen.
We’ve even created a monthly live peer-learning session to facilitate lasting change.
It’s an always-available learning platform that is ever-expanding. We’re adding a new course and podcast every month.
Technology has enabled us to breach the availability, accessibility and price barriers. Sustainable, scalable fundraising is now available to anyone who seeks it.
The folks at NonProfitEasy/Fundly share The Eight Principles™’ vision. In addition to the platform being available at The Eight Principles, NonprofitEasy/Fundly is providing it with their end-to-end technology support platform, which includes CRM, event and volunteer management, crowdfunding, P2P and enterprise solutions.
It’s our goal to continually improve. That’s because our vision is real impact and better communities, not simply raising more money.
Here’s 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.
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