The Most Important Part of Fundraising: A Culture of Philanthropy
The philanthropic culture needs to be an integral part of the ongoing operation of the organization. The "spin" must be positive and progressive investment-focused. Over time, the culture needs to develop seeds in tradition. Ultimate success occurs when everyone accepts responsibility for philanthropy.
In a recent Association of Fundraising Professionals article titled "Think. Say. Do. How to Build a Philanthropic Culture in Your Organization," author Karla A. Williams says you have a philanthropic culture when your organization embraces philanthropy as a core value. She notes with this mind-set that people build relationships that are mutually beneficial and have mission impact. There is an organizationwide investment in fundraising.
In my opinion, you must develop an internal organizational system of culture that lasts and evolves to engage external ownership knowing this process will ebb and flow over time. I completely agree with the Association of Fundraising Professionals leadership when it said the primary responsibility of development professionals is not to raise money; it is to build a philanthropic culture. The AFP notes, "fundraising professionals must be facilitators, catalysts, advocates, stewards and the conscience of a philanthropic culture."
Building a culture of philanthropy is the most important and dynamic program element fundraising professionals should do on a daily basis. As your organizational culture matures, your job becomes easier. Success of various degrees takes time, but failure in this area is not an option. Your organizational long-term philanthropic viability may depend on it!
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.