The Seduction of More—or is it less?

Nonprofit organizations and the fundraisers that seek charitable funds for them often see increasing fundraising revenue through the myopic lens of “process.”  That is, take what we’re doing and do it more, faster and with more people.   The seduction here is that with all truly insidious lies there is an element of truth.

There’s no doubting that hard work and unstinting execution can raise more money than going at it half-heartedly.  The lie is that through ”more of the same” alone we can tap into an ever-expanding philanthropic revenue stream.

Nowhere is this more evident than in solicitation.  Ask more and ye shall receive more.  What’s the slang, “NOT”?   The research continually shows that over solicitation—asking too often and without reference to the donor—is the number one negative among charitable individuals.  Almost half of all donors have stopped giving to at least one nonprofit for this very reason.

So why do we persist?  It’s often a single-minded focus on “process”—what we do—in fundraising.  The technique that will get us over the top.  The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising® says that the true starting point is in understanding the principles that are operating.  From this vantage, adopt a meaningful mental framework and then—and only then—choose the process that works best for that situation.

As your program develops and grows, what worked in the beginning is, most likely, not the process that will get you to the next level.  Remember to put your efforts into adopting the right paradigm—using a healthy understanding of the principles.  The process will take care of itself.

Larry C Johnson
Twitter:  Larry_C_Johnson
Facebook:  The Eight Principles

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