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.