In our work, regardless of the the cause we are passionate about it or the job title we have, we have to recognize that it isn’t all about the “function” of our work. Do you work in a communications department? It isn’t always about social media. Do you work on the development team? Well, it isn’t always about fundraising. Blasphemy, I know! But, that’s just one of the reaons why I love Larry C. Johnson’s new book, The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising. And I want to share a few gems with you!
Gem #1 – Put fundraising in your mission.
In this book, Larry starts at the beginning (that’s even how he describes it!) with the mission of the organization. You have to figure this out first! Your board has to know the mission, and keep it in mind in their role forming the strategic vision of the organization. Fundraising should have a clear role in helping you meet that mission. If it is something separate, your doomed. Larry very rightly points out: If you position fundraising as separate from meeting your mission, donors won’t see why their donations are creating the impact they are interest in.
Gem #2 – Work from the inside out.
This is a great concept and one I often see organization willing to internalize, but not for fundraising. I am often asked by organizations about how they can get their staff to adopt a new tool or platform. You have to start inside the organization. Treat your colleagues like the most important community segment. That means you give them direct training and support, show them how it helps the organization and their own work, etc. When the external community sees your staff using a community platform, a knowledge management resource, or another shared online space it says to them that the organization actually cares and is invested in both collaboration and the resource itself. And that is the best tone you can set! So why would it be any different with fundraising!
Gem #3 – I have an extra copy for you!
That’s right! Larry was kind enough to send me an extra copy that I could give away to a lucky commenter. Please share in the comments below either what your current struggle is or your latest lesson learned with fundraising for your organization. All comments will be entered to win and I’ll draw a name at random this Friday, May 11th, at 5 pm EST.
Looking forward to hearing what you’re working on!