Small or Big? You Make the Choice
Whether you’re a one-person charity or a multinational nonprofit, the question of whether to go “big” or stay “small” is always there. Make the smart choice, and you’ll soar. Guess wrong, and you’ll be stuck in the doldrums—or worse.
The terms “small” and “big” are relative. For a community-based charity, a gift of $10,000 can be a very big deal. That same $10,000 given to a leading university barely registers on the radar screen.
The two areas where every organization has to decide on “big” or small” are fundraising and the services they deliver.
The common mistake is to go “big” in both.
Principle 5 of The Eight Principles™ is Work From the Inside Out. Fundraising is an inside-out affair. You begin with those who have the greatest reasons to give by relationship and affinity. That’s starting small. The often-made mistake is to cast your net as widely as possible when seeking new supporters. Not smart. Costs skyrocket while returns plummet.
When reaching out to serve others, we quite naturally want to do as much good as possible. Certainly a worthy goal. Going all out—as big as possible—is not a good strategy, however. Quality suffers, and quantity never compensates in the minds of donors.
Do what you do well—very well. You’ll be judged by it.
Principle 1 of The Eight Principles™ is Donors are the Drivers. Donors call the shots. More and more, donors want quality outcomes. With Millennials, this is absolutely top of mind.
The unique fundraising idea is to start small—both as you fundraise and do good work.
You will but grow and become big. There’s the unique fundraising idea. And the happy ending.
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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