The Narrow Window
Something very rare is happening. It’s one of those once-in-a-century occurrences. You know—like the appearance of Halley’s Comet.
What is it?
Right now—and perhaps not for very much longer—the very same tools for fundraising that the very best, well-funded organizations use are at the disposal of someone with $500 to spend.
Think about it. For a moment, access to the most powerful fundraising tools on the market is available to just about anyone wanting to use them.
And the really strange news—most of these are free or extremely low cost.
In my almost 30-year career, I’ve never seen anything like it. Sophisticated CRMs, powerful volunteer management platforms and huge, number-crunching crowdfunding systems are available to anyone. Social media platforms are virtually free, and are the same ones used by big and small, alike.
So, the question is, will you take advantage of this window?
Will you build your program using the unchanging principles of fundraising while employing the most powerful tools available—to anyone?
You see it isn’t the tools that make the difference anymore. (As if they ever did!) It’s how you use them. It’s the awareness you bring to them.
In the "bad old days," the big guys had somewhat of an edge because they had the ability to use the best. What made them really different, however, was their understanding, their paradigm.
The most powerful, scalable and sustainable fundraising programs in the world all share a common characteristic. They’ve discovered and internalized those immutable principles of how things work. I call these The Eight Principles™. You either work with them or break yourself against them.
Think of the dime-store violin. Anyone even remember the "dime store"? That was the trinket emporium of the mid-20th century that was pure heaven for us then-kids. For pocket change, you could get a (rather inferior) facsimile of just about anything.
When you purchased the violin, you didn’t expect much. You could fantasize about the rest.
Funny thing, though. I once heard the great violin virtuoso, Jascha Heifetz, perform using one of these toys. It didn’t sound like a toy in his hands. It was more like a Stradivarius.
You see it isn’t so much about the tools—although they certainly help—as it is the mindset and skill of the person using them.
Enduring, sustainable success is about the conservation of effort. It’s about concentrating it in the right places. Although the tools are there, just collecting a grab bag won’t do you much good. First, you get the right mindset, and then you choose the tools for your tool chest. And what a choice, these days!
So the decision is there. Will you use the window that has opened? Will you embrace those unchanging principles of fundraising and use them with the most powerful tools ever? Or, will you cling to the notion you can’t compete and that it’s still about rotary telephones and mass mailings?
It’s your choice.
Success is waiting. Go out and achieve it.
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.
Reach Larry on social media at: