Fundraisers must take seriously the power of giving

One of the most destructive attitudes I encounter among fundraisers is that that what they do annoys donors, takes away from them, and is generally a shady practice.

If there was a painter who thought painting was stupid and wasteful, do you think he’d be a very good painter?

The Far Edge of Promise blog throws fundraisers a challenge at Do You Believe In The Benefits of Giving?

The point is this: Giving does not hurt donors. In fact, it does them a huge amount of good. Giving…


  • is an important component of a healthy life.
  • stimulates our brains in much the same ways that food and sex do.
  • reduces chronic pain.
  • lowers anxiety.
  • increases antibodies in our blood.
  • people who give report feeling stronger and more energetic.
  • is as good a stress reliever as any relaxation technique.

And, by the way, giving supports the good causes your donors care about and makes the world a better place in exactly the ways they want it to be better.

If you’re serious about fundraising, you need to remind yourself every day that the work you do is not an annoying, unwelcome, or harmful thing in donors’ lives.

It’s a miraculously positive thing that makes their lives better every day.

Believe that and remember it — and you’ll be like a painter who knows that painting is a gift from God.

Because that’s what fundraising is.


Comments

2 responses to “Fundraisers must take seriously the power of giving”

  1. Totally agree. We’ve got to help our board and staff distinguish between ‘fundraising’ (generally perceived with negativity) and ‘philanthropy’ (generally perceived positively. In fact, I also wrote a blog post on the topic. http://clairification.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-to-overcome-money-taboo-and-succeed.html
    Brilliant minds think alike. Nice post!

  2. Totally agree. We’ve got to help our board and staff distinguish between ‘fundraising’ (generally perceived with negativity) and ‘philanthropy’ (generally perceived positively. In fact, I also wrote a blog post on the topic. http://clairification.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-to-overcome-money-taboo-and-succeed.html
    Brilliant minds think alike. Nice post!

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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