If you could do your work as a fundraiser from a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity, you would love your job.
In our western, white-male-dominated culture in North America, the view we grow up with is that there is “not enough,” and therefore we should get as much as we can for ourselves before someone else gets it.
In all our years of fundraising, Richard and I have witnessed this same mindset in the non-profit community. “We have to get the money now!” “Go out and find a big donor so we can do this project.”
This philosophy or ethos of scarcity that penetrates our industry is causing a multitude of problems, and it’s making us sick. Our fear of not having enough is driving us to unintentionally hurt our donors and the fundraisers who are working with them.
Our rush to “get it now before it’s gone” has invaded how we relate to our donors and how we treat front-line fundraisers.
When getting the money becomes the sole objective, no matter how great the intentions are with what to do with that money, people get mistreated and hurt in the process.
This is why Richard and I have always said that this fundraising stuff has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with helping people fulfill their passions and interests and find joy in the process of fulfilling them. Both your donor and YOU finding that joy.
What if “we” non-profits and fundraisers all felt there was enough out there? And our job was to inspire folks to share their abundance, so they could experience the joy of giving some of it away to help make the world a better place?
Would we relax a bit more? Would we allow fundraisers to take the time to develop authentic relationships with donors? Would non-profit leaders invest more in the whole process of helping a donor find joy in their giving?
Fundraising is not about getting; it’s about giving. When we as non-profits give away our time and resources to build relationships with donors, more is given back. We just have to live in that truth. (Tweet it!)
There is enough.
I agree it is not about the money, but on the flip side, I am also held accountable to financial goals that are set every year. If I do not meet these goals, if affects my job performance, which affects my pay raise, and affects my ability to be promoted to the next level of director. So, it is not about money, but it is made to be about money.