A donor-focused nonprofit sees fundraising as part of its mission

Excerpted from my new book, The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand: Motivating Donors to Give, Give Happily, and Keep on Giving.

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Your mission may be only half of the good you’re doing in the world.

The other half is your fundraising.

You’ll be a better fundraiser when you embrace this truth. When you persuade a donor to give, you are not taking something away from her; you are adding grace to her life. Herbank balance may be temporarily lower, but she’s meaningfully richer because of the gift.

Here are some of the ways giving makes life better:


  • Giving helps donors become more evolved, more involved, more connected with the world beyond their immediate circle. Every time you ask for a gift, you create an opportunity for someone to improve herself.
  • Giving increases your donors’ happiness and satisfaction with life.
  • Giving improves donors’ physical and mental health.
  • Giving is not only good for donors — it’s also good for society. By some estimates, a dollar given to charity stimulates better than $19 for the economy. Beyond that, think of the impact of millions of healthier, more-involved donors.

I know it can seem like an endless parade of problems. But when you remember how much more fundraising is — that it’s not just a way to squeeze money out of people’s pockets — you can transform your career. And your life.

Donors are people just like you and me. They face health problems and money and job worries. Relationship challenges, sorrow, and pain. Because they’re largely older people, they have a lot more to worry about than you and I do.

Your fundraising message reaches through the anxiety and confusion of life. When they make a gift to your organization, they get a little spark of joy and empowerment.

Every day, we have the privilege of being part of the transformation of our donors. If we could see it for what it is, we’d be overcome with wonder. But we can’t see it, so we sometimes think all we’re doing is just another form of marketing, not meaningfully different from persuading strangers to choose one shampoo over another.

Being mindful of the miracle that fundraising is doesn’t keep itfrom being a pain in the butt. You still don’t have the staff and resources you need. Things still go wrong. Your boss, your board, your client, or your consultants still don’t get it or get in the way.

But if you keep in mind how much more than marketing you’re doing, you’ll work with clearer vision. You’ll have a better brand. You’ll raise more money.

The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand is available at:


Comments

2 responses to “A donor-focused nonprofit sees fundraising as part of its mission”

  1. Ilja De Coster Avatar
    Ilja De Coster

    Thanks Jeff. This is so true. This is so important to remind all us about.

  2. Ilja De Coster Avatar
    Ilja De Coster

    Thanks Jeff. This is so true. This is so important to remind all us about.

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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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