When You Offer the Unlimited-you fail


Those of us who contribute their hard-earned dollars and scarce time to charitable endeavors are getting a lot more discriminating, even demanding.  This is especially true for those of us under the age of 40.  We’re a lot more market savvy, and a little bit cynical than our older peers.  We want our time and money to count for something-but not everything.


Before I’m called out on my age, let it be said that I am over 40.  Regardless, I still want my charitable efforts to net real change.  “Real”l doesn’t mean “universal” or “complete”.


It’s important to me that any charitable endeavor I support be very clear about what it aspires to accomplish and that the goal also is achievable.   Creating life-changing opportunities for those in my community-or many communities, is conceivable.  Eliminating worldwide poverty is not, at least never in recorded history.


When the promise doesn’t match the results, disappointment sets in.  That’s when I begin to look elsewhere to focus my charitable impulses.


A nonprofit’s purpose needs to be both aspirational and achievable.  It needs to possess the potential for scalable success.  Big ideas, even world-changing ideas, start in small ways.  They do contain within them, however, the acorns for future oaks.


Principle 2 of The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising® is Begin at the Beginning™.  Begin your outreach by deciding what you can reasonably accomplish.  Carefully frame it with the aspirations of your potential supporters, add a dash of irrationality and your set.

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