Not You—But Others

You’ve got a great cause.  Compelling. Urgent.  Worthy.

But. . . . .   There are lots of really generous folks out there who will NEVER support you. 

Why?  That’s because fundraising and philanthropy IS NOT about money.

That’s not to say that money isn’t involved—it’s just not the object.  This one fact is probably the biggest stumbling block for fundraisers

Your organization needs funds to fulfill its mission, so you go out and attempt to raise them.  By making the appeal for money.  WRONG!

What’s more, it’s not even about you or your worthy mission.  It just isn’t.

So, you say, “What is it about smarty pants?”

It’s about the values and dreams of those who would support you.  Read that last sentence one more time.  Let it sink in.  Really in.

Principle 1 of The Eight Principles is Donors are the Drivers®.  Those who give to worthy causes are in the driver’s seat.  They’re making the decisions.  They make those decisions to fulfill their own dreams.

Your job isn’t to ask them to support you so much as it is for you to ask them how you can fulfill THEIR aspirations.

We started by stating that there a lot of generous folks who won’t support you.  It’s not that they’re not generous it’s just that they won’t be generous to you. 

Principle 4 of The Eight Principles is Learn & Plan™.  First learn who would naturally support you—by affinity of values and vision—then plan on how to reach those folks.

When you work smart, two things happen.  First, you get a lot more “yes’s”.  Second by getting fewer “no’s”, your fundraising costs go down—way down.  The bottom line—you’re raising money in both directions. 

The next time you’re tempted to ask anyone and everyone to give, remember that that raising money is not about everyone.  Just those who will support you.

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