Losing at Both Ends

It starts with the best of intentions.  Your organization is focused on helping others—some in serious need.  The money that’s required to close the gap on the critical project seems to be within your reach.

And then. . .

Expectation and entitlement sweep in and suddenly, goals are raised without reference to capacity or potential.  Fundraisers feel the unrealistic time frame being imposed upon them.  Donors sense the pressure—and some are being pressured.  After all, the cause is worth it, right?

Wrong.

The results become the death of dreams—donor dreams, fundraising careers and organizational reputation.

Think this sounds unrealistic?  Perhaps not as dramatically, but it happens all the time.  Setting unrealistic goals, pressuring donors—all in the name of the “good”.

It’s a straightforward matter to determine real fundraising capacity.  Setting a goal simply on the basis of “need” is reckless.

Philanthropy isn’t need driven.  It’s dream driven.  And donors are in the driver’s seat.  Fundraising is beholden to the natural laws of philanthropy.

There’s so much out there that is never tapped.  Why?  Because organizations and their leadership fall victim to expectation.  To expect is to assume.  Never assume.

The better way is to invite.  To partner.  Donors want to be a part of your success.  Let them.

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