There Is Enough to Give
If you could do your work as a fundraiser from a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity, you would love your job.
In our western, white male-dominated culture in North America, the view we grow up with is that there is not enough, and, therefore, we should get as much as we can for ourselves before someone else gets it.
In all our years of fundraising, Richard and I have witnessed this same mindset in the nonprofit community. “We have to get the money now!” “Go out and find a big donor so we can do this project.”
This philosophy or ethos of scarcity that penetrates our industry is causing a multitude of problems and making us sick. Our fear of not having enough is driving us to unintentionally hurt our donors and the fundraisers who are working with them.
Our rush to get it now before it’s gone has invaded how we relate to our donors and how we treat frontline fundraisers.
When getting the money becomes the sole objective, no matter how great the intentions are with what to do with that money, people get mistreated and hurt in the process.
This is why Richard and I have always said this fundraising stuff has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with helping people fulfill their passions and interests and find joy in the process of fulfilling them. Both your donor and you finding that joy.
What if we nonprofits and fundraisers all felt there was enough out there. And our job was to inspire folks to share their abundance so they could experience the joy of giving some of it away to help make the world a better place?
Would we relax a bit more? Would we allow fundraisers to take the time to develop authentic relationships with donors? Would nonprofit leaders invest more in the whole process of helping donors find joy in their giving?
Fundraising is not about getting. It’s about giving. When we as nonprofits give away our time and resources to build relationships with donors, more is given back. We just have to live in that truth.
There is enough.
If you like baseball, tennis, golf, Gregorian chant, jazz, rock, good wine and deep conversation, then you’ll like to hang out with Jeff.
If you are passionate about fundraising, Jeff will inspire you to be a true “broker of love” for your donors, helping you bring together a donor’s desire to change the world and the world’s greatest needs. Jeff believes that if nonprofits truly want to grow and obtain more net revenue for their mission, it will come through creating, building and successfully managing major-gift programs. The Connections blog will give you inspiration and practical advice to help you succeed. Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit fundraising experience and is senior partner of the Veritus Group.