Fun Fundraising

When I tell people that fundraising is fun, I get all sorts of reactions.

The one I hear most often is “Are you kidding?” 

Why is that?  Isn’t fundraising the way in which worthy causes and organizations are funded?

Why then, do so many think fundraising is:

  • Hard,
  • Scary,
  • Manipulative?

And so few think fundraising is:

  • Rewarding,
  • Fulfilling,
  • Joyful?

It’s that last one that can be the real eye roller. 

The reason is simple.   The qualities you attach to seeking support for your favorite charitable cause depends upon your paradigm of fundraising. 

For those who think it’s a transaction involving money, these folks almost always have thoughts like the first list.  For those who see it as a relationship, an opportunity involving dreams and aspirations, their thinking aligns with the second list.

The difference is clear.  When we see our fundraising as offering an opportunity to satisfy the dreams of those who give—those who invest—it becomes a pleasure.  For those who see it merely as a means to an end, it’s usually something you’d rather avoid. 

You’re probably thinking, “So, where’s the catch?”  Yes, there is one.

When you fundraise with the intent of inviting others to give to your cause because it satisfies their dreams, you’ve struck a bargain.  These investors do want a return.  It’s just not a material one.  It’s fulfilled dreams.  Their dreams.

If you can remember this every time, you approach a would-be supporter, you’ll always be eager to engage.  And both of you will be better for it.

Think about it.

Larry C. Johnson is the Founder of The Eight Principles and the author of the award-winning book, The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising.