‘Tis the holiday season! As winter approaches, nonprofit solicitations are swirling around me faster than snowflakes in a December blizzard.
Though I’m no Scrooge, I’ll admit that I hate fundraising when it is…
- Not relevant. The fact that you need money is not my problem. You won’t get a contribution from me by telling me how desperate you are. My advice: Make your case by explaining how my world will be a better place when I give to your cause.
- Based upon guilt or fear. If your cause is worthy of my support, don’t play mind games to manipulate my behavior. My advice: Make me feel smarter by investing in your organization.
- Not differentiating. Every nonprofit is aggressively raising money, especially this time of the year. Unless you can show me how your cause is the best investment in things I care about, you’re just making noise in an already noisy world. My advice: Focus on the unique niche that only you can fill.
- Coerced. If I’m forced to give, you may achieve a short-term result. Trust me, though: I’ll forever resent being strong-armed and I will look for ways to distance myself from your organization at the earliest opportunity. My advice: Give me a choice and invite me to voluntarily join your team.
- Treated as an end objective. Fundraising is a means to an end. It’s purpose is to help an organization have adequate resources to fulfill its mission. A nonprofit does not exist to raise money, but rather it raises money so it can continue to exist. My advice: Talk more about your mission and less about how much money you need.
- More interested in my money than in me. If we don’t have a relationship, then I’m probably not going to give. Any farmer knows you cannot reap a harvest until you’ve planted the seed, nurtured the crop and waited patiently for nature to take its course. My advice: Give me ways to make philanthropy a natural expression of my relationship with your organization.