Fundraising for Elites

An elite, in the popular parlance is often someone at the top of a pyramid usually of power or wealth who is, at best, removed from the lives of ordinary people and, at worst, a bigoted snob.

The unique fundraising idea is to deliberately focus your fundraising efforts on elites. Not elites as popularly portrayed, however.

Any worthy cause, any nonprofit striving to have positive impact in their community—or the world—has a prescribed set of elites, whether they know it or not. These elites are those individuals who have the fever, the passion to see the change you are seeking, just as you do.

Your number one priority for your fundraising program is to identify these passionate people who share your dream and then engage them to show them how you can achieve that dream. The Pareto Principle, with which we’re all familiar says that 80% of a resource originates from about 20% of the potential sources. Some, such as Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, have called this the “power rule.”

“But I don’t want just to appeal to the fat cats”, you say. Being an elite in the fundraising sense doesn’t demand deep pockets. Yes—you heard me correctly—it’s not about money. Being a fundraising elite DOES require the impassioned commitment to your cause’s values and aspirations, however. There will always be those who make a gift to you in passing and that’s OK. It is your elites, however, with whom you need to be spending most of your time.

Principle 5 of The Eight Principles™ is Work From the Inside Out™. Focus your fundraising efforts first on those who have the greatest reason to give. The gifts of these committed folks will motivate others as you move outward to build your base of supporters.

It’s one of those ironies of life. Focus on those that truly support you, and the rest will take care of itself. Now there’s a unique fundraising idea.