The Race to Impress

Sometimes it seems that everyone is in a race to impress.  Impress your neighbors.  Your friends. Your boss. Your clients.  Even your children.

Nonprofit organizations are not immune.

One-up’s Manship seems so superficial when two neighbors are comparing their lawns, or cars, or clothes.  Or muscles.  Or beauty.  Or children.

And it is.

It’s no less deceptive (and nauseating) when nonprofits do it.  They parade their facilities.  Their “good works.”  Their credentials—nonprofits are BIG on credentials.  It’s the organizational equivalent of the hunting trophy.

The bottom line is that all these things have much more effect on the ones seeking to impress than on those whom you are seeking to impress.

Read that again.

Whatever mileage you get out of the trophies, it’s superficial.  It will generate some quick gifts.  But not sustainable, scalable support.

That is, unless these trophies are preceded (or at the very least, accompanied) by a genuine relationship.  An engagement of those would-be investors that seeks to validate THEM not YOU.

As my maternal grandmother was fond of saying, “Nothing should be obvious but the quality.”

The very best never need to advertise that fact.  It’s, somehow, obvious.


Because whenever you’re around them they make you feel like YOU’RE the best!

If you give your supporters the affirmation and validation their seeking, you’ll never need be concerned about financial support.  It will be there.  In spades.

Principle 1 of The Eight Principles is Donors are the Drivers®.  Donors are DEFINITELY driving the fundraising train.  But it’s NOT with their money. When your organization discovers and acts upon this, magic happens.

Many have asked me how they can learn and apply the concepts of relational fundraising.  And do it in a way that won’t break the bank.

I’m pleased to tell you that on June 19, we’re releasing an online curriculum which takes you from idea to workable relational fundraising plan in five steps.  With a modest price we’ve made it affordable to virtual everyone.

Stay tuned.

Philanthropy is truly coming together in community. In that spirit, I want to make this more than a mouthpiece for my thoughts and ideas. In that vein, we’ve established The Eight Principles Fundraising Culture LinkedIn group.

The Group is open to all subscribers of Fundraising Culture.  Here’s where you can wade into the discussion.  Contribute.  Share.  Successes. Challenges.  Even failures.  Remember all failure is temporary.

I encourage you to join the Group and participate.  Two-way conversation is so much more satisfying then just hearing myself talk!

Each issue of Fundraising Culture will be posted in LinkedIn, the LinkedIn Group, The Eight Principles website and to our entire email family.

Don’t be shy.  I’ve heard from enough of you to know you have a great deal to contribute.

Keep the dialogue respectful, avoid promotional-only posts and you’re golden.  This is not the place to solicit for donations, however.  Those posts will be deleted.

Have a story to share?  Post in the group now.

So, what’s so special about conversation?  It’s the magic of synergy.  1 + 1 = 3.  Truly.