Donors Need to Give More Than You Need the Money!
A wealthy industrialist once asked Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, "Do you need me or my money?" Gandhi replied, "I need only you!" Gandhi wasn't against wealth or money. He just knew that humans could not find purpose and fulfillment in it.
Some of the great philosophers and religious leaders in human history have had some rather jarring and counterculture things to say about money.
In the Scripture passage Mark 10:21, Jesus said to the rich man: '"Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven." Talk about a big ask! He did that not because the poor needed the gift (though they surely did). His reason for asking: The man needed to give.
Your donors, like all people, need to give. Jeff and I call this dynamic "the grace of giving." It is about something outside ourselves and, as we have said before, not about the money.
Your work as a major-gifts officer unlocks the grace of giving in other people's lives. Let me explain how that works.
Why is it so good to give? Most donors know instinctively that it's right — and they give with joy. I'd like to suggest three important reasons.
1. Giving subdues the power of money
Money is a powerful force. We've all felt its pull. Money 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 soul.
As a fundraiser, you 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. Your work of fundraising can spare them from the negative consequences of loving money.
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.