Multiplying by Zero

When I first learned multiplication—yes, I can remember that far back—I learned by rote the multiplication table through 12 X 12. 

I can still remember my grandmother taking me to task to get it done.  FYI, she was a businesswoman, so she lived and died by the numbers.

The laws of multiplication don’t bend to our desires, feelings or “understanding.”  They are what they are. 

When you multiply by zero, the result is ALWAYS zero.  No matter how large the multiplicand is.

Fundraisers often think they’re in the money business.  I say they’re in the people business.

Specifically, those who freely invest in your organization.

Transactional fundraising is a lot like multiplying by zero. 

You may not actually get “0” but you’ve totally truncated any ability the gift may have had to multiply and become more than its face value.  Such a gift is rarely repeated and almost never leads to another, more generous gift.

A gift that is truly reflective of ability and interest.

When we seek gifts/donations/investments—whatever you wish to call them—our purpose and approach must be from the donors/investors’ perspective. 

Principle 4 of The Eight Principles® is Learn & Plan™.  First learn who would naturally support you then plan how to reach them.  That requires knowing the person, not merely the pocketbook.  That, by the way, is why asset and income scans, no matter their sophistication, never show you the who, what and why. You know—the ones which claim to uncover all your “major gift prospects” living under your nose.

When we see our donors as our investors, they become partners in our success. They come along with us—metaphorically if not literally.

When we receive a gift that is the result of a transaction, rather than an invitation, we receive money, but we truncate the process.

We’re multiplying by zero.   Money raised in this manner will NEVER achieve what it could achieve.