How the Power of Money Can Bless the Donor
When I see a $100 bill, something happens to me. I know it’s all in my head. But it has energy. It grabs me. Money is a powerful force. We all have felt its pull.
The reason money is so powerful is that it represents our hard work and all the emotional investment we put into our jobs. Having money gives us options, power, security and pleasure. It boosts our self-esteem and makes others respect us—or so we think.
Anything that powerful carries a lot of potential danger. Unchecked, the influence of money can grow until it strangles a person’s heart.
The fun thing about working in major gifts is that you have an opportunity to loosen money’s hold on people by encouraging them to give it away. When people give away their money, they short-circuit its negative influence. As a major-gift fundraiser, you perform a powerful and unique service to donors!
That is why we keep saying that three very important things happen when a person gives money to a nonprofit:
- The organization gets help.
- The person or cause in need is taken care of.
- The donor finds fulfillment and joy.
So, it is obvious (and widely understood) that the organization and the cause it represents get funding. But what is not talked about is what happens to the donor.
When the donor gives, it adds a powerful dimension of significance to the giver’s life. Your donors share your values and want to participate in your work. But they may lack the training, the talent or even the calling it takes.
When they give, they transfer their talents and labors to your cause by giving the money their work has earned. In effect, your donors’ jobs become an extension of your organization. It’s like they have suddenly joined the staff.
When you think of the giving transaction this way, donors are placed in a substantially different place. They are no longer a source of money. They are true partners. And if you really own this concept, it changes how you behave. You will:
- Be quick to thank donors.
- Be thorough and timely in telling donors how their giving is making a difference.
- Be open and honest when donors have questions.
We find that we need to keep talking about this subject frequently because, oddly, the donor often gets lost in the giving transaction. Think about how odd that statement is. The donor is giving the money, but once the organization gets the money, the donor becomes less significant. It happens all the time.
And that is what you can’t let happen. Your mission, today and throughout the weeks ahead, is to make sure the power of money is used to help the people and causes you serve, and the donor. Take as much happiness in helping the donor find satisfaction as you do in securing the funds for your cause. That is what releases the power of money in the right way.
If you’re hanging with Richard it won’t be long before you’ll be laughing.
He always finds something funny in everything. But when the conversation is about people, their money and giving, you’ll find a deeply caring counselor who helps donors fulfill their passions and interests. Richard believes that successful major-gift fundraising is not fundamentally about securing revenue for good causes. Instead it is about helping donors express who they are through their giving. The Connections blog will provide practical information on how to do this successfully. Richard has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience, and is founding partner of the Veritus Group.